A new annual study by the Alberta government reveals what many in Pincher Creek already know — just how difficult it is to find a place to rent.

Labelled the 2023 Apartment Vacancy and Rental Cost Survey, the report finds that only a handful of communities in our province actually have a good vacancy rate. Unfortunately, Pincher Creek is not on that list.

In fact, the town’s vacancy rate was 3.3 per cent in 2022. Last year, it dropped by the same amount, bottoming out at zero.

Mayor Don Anderberg isn’t altogether surprised.

“Even now, it’s probably close to zero,” he says. “We added a bunch, but those were snapped up quickly. The eight-plex, the six new suites — they were taken before they were even finished.”

The survey, done on Aug. 1 of last year, identified 84 rental units in town, but only 78 rentals took part in the survey, with the average rental for a one-bedroom apartment at $791, $906 for a two-bedroom, and a significant jump to $1,210 for a three-bedroom. Of note: all 78 were at least 10 years old.

Mayor Anderberg is hopeful the situation could improve later this year.

Potential prospects include three properties on the west side (including the former RCMP building at 659 Main St.), and the proposed redevelopment of 806 Main St., former site of A Better Chance Animal Rescue, into a four-unit row house.

Of the communities that topped the list with the highest vacancy rates were two southern Alberta towns, Cardston and Raymond. In both cases the numbers jumped from zero to 10.5 per cent from 2022 to 2023. 

Athabasca in northern Alberta sat at 21.1 per cent last year, an 11.6 per cent rise from the previous year.

By Dave Lueneberg, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 18, 2024 at 15:28

This item reprinted with permission from   Shootin' the Breeze   Pincher Creek, Alberta

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