We've all heard the talk about how cheap it is to live in Medicine Hat compared to other places, but I decided that I needed to know if and how much cheaper it ACTUALLY is to live in Medicine Hat compared to the rest of the province. I know that it's pretty easy to complain about the price of buying a house in the city, or how much our utilities cost us, especially during weeks or months of -30° or +30° weather. But really, what would you be paying if you lived in another major centre in Alberta?
I know that when we lived in Castor, there were months in the winter when our combined utility bills were more than $500, and our house was only 1050 sq. ft and had all energy efficient bulbs, my husband had sealed it up as much as possible and we had a programmed thermostat that was turned down when we weren't home and at night.
I did a little digging and came up with some information. Unfortunately I had to use Housing Market and Property Tax information from 2010, as it was the only available data I could get. The utility information is from January to June 2011, but we all know those numbers can fluctuate quite rapidly.
Here's the breakdown:
Housing Market MLS Average Price 2010
Medicine Hat - $249,536
Lethbridge - $246,932
Red Deer - $269,288
Edmonton - $328,803
Calgary - $398,764
Average of all 5 cities = $298,665
Medicine Hat's average housing cost is $49,129 or 16.4% less than the average of the 5 cities.
Average Property Tax for All Single Detached Houses in 2010
Medicine Hat - $1986
Lethbridge - $2376
Red Deer - $2578
Edmonton - $2640
Calgary - $2467
Average of all 5 cities = $2,409.40
Medicine Hat's average property tax is $423.40 or 17.6% less than the average.
Total Energy Charges for the period January to June 2011 (Taken from Your Medicine Hat Energy Advantage flyer that came with utility bills this summer.)
Medicine Hat - $940.39
Lethbridge - $1,364.28
Red Deer - $1,316.83
Edmonton - $1,327.86
Calgary - $1,256.18
Average of all 5 cities = $1,241.11
Medicine Hat's average energy cost is $300.72 or 24.2% less than the average of the 5 cities.
So I guess Medicine Hat is looking pretty good right now, eh? If you don't already live here, you might want to consider moving!