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Crisis mode: Expert says more renters are panicked as the market heats up even more

With the average vacancy rate for a single detached home in Calgary dropping and the average rental rate going up this month, renters are having an even tougher time finding a home for their families.

Thomas McCallum was told by his landlord that his family of six needs to vacate their house by August 31st, as its being sold. McCallum found this out right after he got the news one of his children has cancer.

“It was quite the shock. We already have enough on our plate as it is and now we have to find a new house. It’s crazy," said McCallum.

Between medical appointments and juggling work to afford what they have, McCallum says finding time to look for a new home is difficult. He said the cost of a new rental in the current market is also unaffordable.

“We spend about three hours a day checking rent faster, Facebook, Kijiji. We check all of these different companies to try to get a lead but we’re either getting ghosted or pre-screened, and they’re saying you got too many kids or they’re too young,” said McCallum.

“I’ve been in three bedroom homes the entire time and it’s never been an issue but they’re saying you have to fill a four bedroom, five bedroom or even a six bedroom and when you start going to those areas it's $5,000 to $6,000 a month for rent.”


According to statistics from property management company Hope Street, the average rental rate for all properties in Calgary has gone up by 28.9 per cent since January 1st. That figure last month was 25 per cent.

Compared to all other properties, the single detached home is in the highest demand. The average vacancy rate for this type of property in Calgary currently sits at 0.42 per cent, which is down from 0.6 per cent in May.

“We’re looking at a borderline crisis situation if not a full on crisis,"said Shamon Kureshi, CEO of Hope Street.. "The properties that we list are gone almost over night. If a property is available for a couple days that’s extremely uncommon,”


Kureshi said there is a supply and demand issue for single detached homes. More landlords are taking advantage and selling their property and there isn’t a guarantee the new owners will rent.

“A lot of the landlords we are talking to are saying things like it’s been 10 years and I haven’t seen any gains in returns in my investment and now that the market has shifted and I can finally get a reasonable return,” he said.

“We’ve seen the market go up and we’ve seen it go down and these things can change almost overnight. A year ago no one saw this coming and I’d be willing to bet a year from now we’ll be in a very different market.”

For renters who are trying to get out of the rental market, with the Bank of Canada raising the interest rate again on June 1 and with the high costs of living, owning a home is just not attainable.

“It’s a lot of expenses going out and trying to make it all work. It’s tough but we are trying to explore that avenue but it probably won’t work very well,” said McCallum.

“We are pretty scared. Pretty worried. Worried we may not have a home.”

Hope Street predicts the average rental rate in Calgary will keep rising until the end of summer. Top Stories

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