The City of Airdrie recently released it's inaugural Airdrie’s Growth Report: Tracking Development and Change, which the municipality hopes will play an important role for stakeholders in both the public and private sectors.
“We really needed that one source of information that helped us deliver a better customer experience by providing a consistent message,” said Christa Sanders, economic development officer with the City.
According to the executive summary, the new report illustrates Airdrie’s market opportunities by the numbers, and reflect the city's continued growth in both population and the local business community.
“These numbers show steady and growing population rates, declining vacancy rates, a growing business community, and growing employment opportunities,” the report stated.
In the report, it states there is a pent-up demand evident for serviced medium and heavy industrial lands in Airdrie. With approximately 90 acres of land under contract at the time of completing the report, there is a market need for the industrial lands provided in the East Points Community Area Structure Plan (CASP).
Some key statistics the report points out are Airdrie’s seven per cent annual growth rate over the last 20 years, a 1.3 per cent decrease in overall non-residential assessed vacancy – which is now at 3.5 per cent – and a 27 per cent increase in employment from 2016 to 2021. The report also cites a 14 per cent increase in commercial business licenses.
While commercial business licenses are on the up, the report stated in 2020 that the business community reported an overall 23 per cent decline in home-based and commercial business license closures as compared to 2018 and an overall 24 per cent increase in new home-based and commercial business licenses issued over that same period.
Additionally, from 2020 to 2021, the report stated more than 5,000 acres have gone through the planning process.
Looking at the non-residential market summary section of the report, Airdrie’s retail sector fared “relatively well” over the course of 2020, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vacancy rates have remained relatively stable since 2019, according to the report, and are expected to maintain the plateau for the foreseeable future.
“Availability has climbed over the course of 2020 from under two per cent to just under four per cent, however in the first quarter and into the second in 2021, the availability has reversed course and currently sits just over three per cent,” it stated.
“Overall, vacancies in the Airdrie market currently run approximately 200 basis points lower than the overall Calgary area market.”
In the mufti-family sector, buildings with more than five units currently host a rent-per-unit price of $1,100 for a one-bedroom dwelling and $1,662 for a three-bedroom. While figures have been steady since 2020, a CoStar forecast stated, “an upward trajectory starting in the next three to six months and continuing into the foreseeable future.”
“Long range estimates, for 2025, are $1,300 and $1,900, respectively. The estimated market sale price per unit, for Airdrie, currently sits at $282,000,” the report stated.
While Airdrie continues to be one of the fastest growing communities in both Alberta and Canada as a whole, the report said a conservative estimate is that there will be an expected 17 to 20 per cent increase in the city’s population over the next five years. That estimate is a slight decrease from the current 23 per cent rate.
The report anticipates by 2025, 84,000 people will call Airdrie home, and that Airdrie will hit the 100,000 population mark by 2030.
The 80-page document also covers residential and non-residential permit activity, a vacancy study, land inventory, a number of CASP profiles, and other items. The entire document can be read by visiting airdrie.ca/growthreport