Lethbridge continues to be most affordable city on the prairies

Southern Alberta Living
November 01, 2013

Lethbridge Herald story Lethbridge affordable for homebuyers Dave Mabell LETHBRIDGE HERALD For homebuyers, Lethbridge will continue to be the most affordable large city on the Prairies. And more homes will change hands here next year, predicts Canada Mortgage and Housing. But while homebuilders have seen an upswing this year in most Alberta cities, there’s been a drop in Lethbridge. And business will be a little slower next year, the CMHC predicts. The price of a typical Lethbridge home sold through the Multiple Listing Service will average about $245,000, it says. It’s expected to rise to $249,000 next year, but that’s still short of last year’s $249,215. By comparison, CMHC says this year’s average in Medicine Hat will be $263,000, in Grande Prairie it will be $288,888 and in Red Deer $299,000. As for the big cities, the Edmonton average will be $345,000 while Calgary will be up to $436,500. Winnipeg will be a more modest $267,000, but Saskatoon will jump to $331,500. While prices will be up marginally in Lethbridge, so will MLS sales. The agency says 2,125 homes were sold here last year and a predicted 2,175 this year. But in 2014, that number could advance to 2,225. On the homebuilding front, the news is not as good. The CMHC forecast for 2014 is 600 homes, including about 100 units of condo, apartment, townhouse or duplex design. That compares with 660 units started in the Lethbridge census area last year and a predicted 645 by the end of 2013. Medicine Hat should continue its slow recovery, the CMHC predicts, but the number of starts next year will be just half the Lethbridge total. If the predicted 300 units are begun, that will be 30 more than this year’s prediction and 16 more than the number actually started in 2012. Starts in Calgary are expected to reach 11,700 by the end of December and 13,100 in 2014.

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Life in Southern Alberta

Thinking of relocating to Lethbridge? Discover the amenities, activities, and quality of life Southern Alberta has to offer you!

Central Location, Moderate Climate

Lethbridge is located in the southern part of Alberta known as the prairies. It is the gateway to the Canadian badlands, and sits on the doorstep of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Situated just an hour away from the majestic Waterton Lakes National Park, two hours from Calgary, and an hour from the U.S. border, Lethbridge is the epicentre to a vast array of amenities, activities, and events.

The proximity to the mountains, combined with the high altitude creates a mild climate. Lethbridge is one of the sunniest cities in Canada, enjoying over 320 days of sunshine per year. Warm westerly Chinook winds give Lethbridge some of the most moderate winters in Western Canada.

The Oldman River, surrounded by unique hills called coulees, flows through the middle of the city. The river valley is one of the largest protected urban parks in North America. This scenic parkland is home to the High Level Bridge, a railway viaduct that has been described as one of the wonders of the world.

Big City Living, Small Town Community

With a population of just over 100,000, Lethbridge has all of the advantages of big city living combined with the safety and community found in small town life. The smaller size, lower cost of living, and higher quality of life, make Lethbridge the community of choice for many.

Consider these facts:

  • Lower transportation costs are a combination of short commute times coupled with ample low-cost parking options. On average, commute times are 10 to 15 minutes or less.
  • An absence of sales tax means Albertans pay at least 7% less for goods and services compared to other Canadian provinces, like Ontario, and most U.S. states.
  • Alberta’s tax advantage comes from a low single-rate tax system, coupled with the highest basic and spousal exemptions in Canada.
  • Average home prices in Lethbridge are the lowest of all major cities in Alberta and this trend is expected to continue in the years ahead.
  • Lethbridge offers a wide cross section of employment opportunities with service and trade industries generating more than 50% of all employment in the city. The majority of occupations are diversified across manufacturing, public sector services, construction, transportation, finance/insurance/real estate and food processing.
  • Lethbridge boasts 2 modern post-secondary institutions; a rarity for a community its size. The University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College are well recognized educational facilities providing a vast array of courses, degrees, and designations.

Activities, Events, and Amenities

Lethbridge is an ideal centre for enjoying the many aspects of culture, nature, sports, and family activity. The Galt Museum, Fort Whoop-Up, and newly revamped Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) offer history and insight into the culture and artistry of the Lethbridge community.

The Oldman River Valley provides direct access to nature, placing birds, plants and animals within an arm's reach, while containing miles of running and hiking trails nestled in the heart of the scenic riverbottom.

The Enmax Centre, Yates Theatre, and Exhibition Park host a variety of performances, tradeshows, and sporting events that are sure to cover all areas of interest:

  • Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL hockey)
  • Whoop-Up Days - annual tradeshow, midway, and rodeo
  • PBR - Professional Bullriding Competition
  • Musical Events & Performances (Ie. Riverdance, Blue Man Group, David Copperfield, Reba McEntire, The Wizard of Oz)
Lethbridge is an ideal centre for free or low-cost family activity of all kinds:
  • Swimming - 5 indoor & 2 outdoor pools as well as an outdoor spray park. This includes the brand new Cor Van Raay YMCA, which opened May 2019. Check out the link to view this amazing new facility! http://lethbridge.ca/Things-To-Do/Aquatics-Pools/Pages/Cor-Van-Raay-YMCA...
  • 6 Ice Centres - hockey, skating, curling
  • 70 parks with 140 km of walking/running trails, well maintained playgrounds, & sportsfields
  • Golf - courses for all skill levels
  • Frisbee golf, mini golf, tennis
  • Lethbridge Public Library - 2 locations
  • Park Place Shopping Centre
  • 2 large movie theatres

Explore the services and employment opportunities Select has to offer on the remainder of our website.