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Rural rent spikes; Bow Island alone up 25% last year

Posted on February 8, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman

Southern Alberta Newspapers

Rent in Bow Island rose by 25 per cent in 2023, one of the steepest hikes in rural Alberta markets, according to provincial data on the cost of accommodation.

The report only covers costs and vacancy rates in towns and villages. The situation in mid-sized cities, from the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation, is typically released annually in late January each year.

The latest report highlights concerns which several economic development agencies see as challenges in the Highway 3 corridor, which is being heavily promoted for economic growth focused on agri-food production.

Rent in Bow Island, 75 kilometres southwest of Medicine Hat, rose to $789 per month for a two-bedroom apartment, up from an average of $635 during 2022.

Further along Highway 3, a two-bedroom suite in Taber saw a 12 per cent increase in 2023, to $960 per month.

In Bassano, the rate for a two-bedroom apartment rose 19 per cent to $655, though vacancy sits at zero.

Hanna also saw a near eight per cent increase, to $799, for a two-bedroom, while similar units also saw substantial increases in Drumheller ($944, up 12 per cent), Pincher Creek ($906, up 15 per cent), Fort Macleod ($946, up 5.3 per cent), Coaldale ($867, up 7 per cent), Claresholm ($1,007, up 21 per cent) and Raymond ($872, up 31 per cent).

The early 2023 CMHC report stated Medicine Hat’s rent increase for a two-bedroom unit was 8.1 per cent during 2022. In dollars, average rent was up $82 per month to $1,009 at October that year.

At the same point, the average bachelor was rented for $868, with one-bedroom ($928) and three-bedroom units ($1,237) also seeing near 10 per cent jumps.

Vacancy in all categories was less than two per cent.

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