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Nation-wide, rental prices didn’t see much of a change between April 2013 and April 2014, but the numbers vary greatly from province to province, with Prairie cities clearly on the rise.

The newly released Spring Rental Market Survey from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) pinpointed the average rental cost for a two-bedroom apartment at $930 a month in April 2014. It was a 2.1 per cent increase from the same time last year. The two-bedroom price is an industry standard and the CMHC’s numbers take into account the prices for purpose-built apartments (as opposed to rental condos) with three or more units across 35 major Canadian metros.

How do different parts of the country compare? Vancouver took the top spot for highest rental price for a two-bedroom apartment at $1,274 per month, a 1.5 per cent increase from April 2013. Calgary followed close behind, but it’s year-over-year rise was more significant: the average rose 5.4 per cent to $1,267.

Edmonton prices have also climbed steeply since last spring. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment rose 9.6 per cent, from $1,077 to $1,180. In other words, renters are paying, on average, about $100 more this year than they were last year. Plus there are fewer rules to keep rising prices in check. Unlike Ontario, PEI, British Columbia and Manitoba, Alberta doesn’t have rent control for tenants.

The average vacancy rate across the 35 major centres was 2.7 per cent, unchanged from the year before. It was a different story in Alberta, where both Edmonton and Calgary saw tighter market conditions with a vacancy rate of 1.4 per cent each. Kelowna wasn’t far behind at 1.5 per cent.

Other major Canadian cities weren’t that far behind. Toronto’s vacancy rate reached 1.9 per cent in April 2014 and Vancouver’s rate was 1.8 per cent.

Among the 35 cities, the highest vacancy rates were recorded in Moncton (10.7 per cent), Saint John (10.0 per cent), and Charlottetown (8.7 per cent).

For more details, check out the charts of rental prices across a select number of major cities:

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