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Calgary rental listing gets 900+ applications in less than 24 hours

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Calgary rental listing gets more than 900 inquiries in 24 hours
Calgary rental listing gets more than 900 inquiries in 24 hours – May 13, 2024

A Calgary rental listing blew up just days after it was listed online, showcasing just how dire the city’s rental market is right now.

The listing — for a three-bed, two-and-a-half-bath townhome in Northeast Calgary — was recently posted on Facebook Marketplace for $1,700 a month. Minutes following the post, messages started flooding in.

“So many people. Over 1,000 in three days. It’s just crazy,” said property manager Patrick McNamara.

Of those messages, 900 arrived in the first 24 hours.

Property manager shows Global News hundreds of messages. Global Calgary
Cori Alfreds and baby. Global Calgary

Current and outgoing tenant Cori Alfreds has been living in the home for the past year and a half since moving to Calgary from B.C. She said she’s used to crazy rental markets in Vancouver, but this surprised her.

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“There’s a lot of people looking for a home out here,” Alfreds said.

Alfreds said many people have recognized the home from the ad, and simply stopped by at all hours.

“We’re having people show up at the door,” Alfreds added. “We had one family show up and I was in the bath and my husband … He just showed them around.

“It’s just too much, we have a newborn baby. I had to make a little sign to say, ‘We really need you to come by appointment only.'”

Sign on home after hopeful renters showed up unexpectedly. Global Calgary

“It’s just mind-blowing the amount of people that are looking for a place,” McNamara concurred. “People are like, ‘I need it today. I’m out of a house. I’ll bring the deposit and first months right today … They’re desperate.”

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That desperation has been visibly growing as Calgary’s rental vacancy rates have been falling. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corportation (CMHC), Calgary had a rental vacancy rate of 1.4 per cent at the end of 2023.

McNamara, who manages several rental properties, said that number has to be much lower this year adding he’s never seen it this bad.

“It’s just mind boggling to me.”

McNamara said the home’s owner knew he’d likely be able to get more than $1,700 a month for the property but that didn’t matter, adding he’d rather have the “right” family in his home than more money.

“We didn’t want it to be too high,” McNamara pointed out. “We wanted it to be affordable for a single family.”

The home is expected to be rented in the next few days after McNamara carefully considers all of the applications.

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