Landlords market expected in coming year

Commercial real estate agency Avison Young is anticipating a “landlords’ market” by the end of 2024 from the strong growth in lease rates.

“Our market is super active right now in in tenants looking to acquire new spaces. And we haven't seen the inventory available to go with it up until recently where developers are starting to meet that need, said Avison Young senior associate Josh Marti.

“As rents are increasing, it's actually a good sign of the economy. And it also goes to show good strength of the economy to that people see the value and being able to come into our market with these rents,” said Marti.

Marti voiced the impact this will have on the community’s economy and the good news it is.

“While it will have an impact on the local tenants, it's also our market is compare it is catching up to other markets that have been paying these rents for quite some time.

It's actually good news. Because if you want to be in northern Alberta, a next to nothing, you'd rather be somewhere where there's a lot of business to be had. So, our rates reflect that,” he said.

He described how the rental rates affect businesses.

“It goes to show that there's a lot of business activity, and people want to be in our market. So, rents, rental rates are actually just a small part of business's bottom line.

“It actually doesn't affect them all that much. If anything, it's an opportunity to show that ‘hey, Lethbridge,’ on the larger stage is a place for investing and doing business here.”

He addedin the past there was not enough inventory to supply national businesses, but recently new developments have changed that.

“Because of our market size, a lot of regional and national businesses are really wanting to be in our market, and we haven't been able to supply that inventory for them.

“So we're at that point now where we're seeing a lot of new developments. That's going to cater to a lot of new businesses coming into our market. It's good for both the local economy as well as for the larger market as a whole,” said Marti.

Marti said there is the possibility of community growth in the upcoming future.

“The general rule of thumb is that for every 1,000 square feet of industrial space that comes on the market, equals one additional employee. So if I bring out 100,000 square feet, which will most likely do easily this coming year, that's going to be 100 jobs.

“And if you think that three quarters of those are families, then 75 families is now going to be another 2500 people living in Lethbridge, which means more housing, more retail sectors are going to be seeing positive growth through our industrial inventory coming online,” he said.

Steffanie Costigan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald