Lethbridge rent prices increasing, causing concerns for students

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WATCH ABOVE: The latest National Rent Report from shows average rental costs in Lethbridge are on the rise year-over-year. Local property managers say there are multiple factors contributing to the increase and it’s expected to continue. Erik Bay has the details. – Jun 21, 2022

If you live in Lethbridge and you’re paying more for rent, you may not be alone.

According to’s National Rent Report — based on monthly listings on its website — the average year-over-year cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Lethbridge is up nine per cent compared to last May, with an average monthly rent of $1,043. For a two-bedroom unit, the monthly cost is $1,210, a year-over-year increase of 14.2 per cent.

One local realtor and property manager sees higher expenses for landlords now falling to renters.

“Largely due to inflation and a couple other factors, so we see cost increasing on things like utilities, especially gas prices lately,” said Chris Jochem, a Braemore Management Ltd. realtor and property manager.

Read more: Turning student housing in Lethbridge into options for the public

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Jochem added that low vacancy rates are also impacting the rental search.

He said the city’s vacancy rate — historically around five per cent — is currently two to three per cent, and he doesn’t expect that to change in the near future.

“Fewer people are going to be able to own a home because of these increasing interest rates and costs,” Jochem said. “I see a little bit less inventory and less options on the market and a lot more people that are going to be renting and not owning.

“That’s just going to put a lot more demand on the rental market.”

Read more: Lethbridge home rental prices up, vacancy levels low: report

That’s having an impact on the city’s student population. The University of Lethbridge Students’ Union (ULSU) is hearing multiple concerns about off-campus housing.

“It’s not within the price range that a lot of students are able to afford, or it’s not necessarily in an area that’s desirable,” ULSU vice-president academic Gage DeSteur said.

DeSteur said rental rates are making students take a hard look at their budgets.

“It forces the student to make the choice between whether or not they want to live somewhere that’s a quality house, that’s nice, near the university and easy to commute, versus maybe spending that money on something else — tuition… or groceries even” DeSteur said.

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DeSteur recommended students begin looking at housing options soon to avoid a potential rush ahead of the fall semester.

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