Construction activity picks up in Capital region

Value of building permits across the Island up seven per cent from 2014

A new home is under construction on the 4000 block of Carey Road in Saanich. The number of residential building permits issued across Vancouver Island rose 15 per cent in the third quarter of 2015.

Residential building permits and steady in-migration contributed to an active autumn that promises a strong 2015 finish for Vancouver Island contractors.

The dollar value of building permits issued across Vancouver Island reached $376.2 million in the third quarter of 2015, pushing year-to-date totals well over the billion-dollar mark – seven per cent higher than in the same period of 2014, reports the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA).

“Vancouver Island’s appealing climate and low interest rates are attracting new residents and keeping residential builders busy,” said Greg Baynton, CEO of VICA. “With few exceptions, residential permit numbers across the Island indicate steady activity in the construction sector through the remainder of this year and into 2016.”

In the third quarter, total building permits issued across Vancouver Island, a key sign of future construction activity, rose one per cent compared to the second quarter.

Residential permits rose 15 per cent and non-residential permit volumes fell by 34 per cent compared to the previous quarter.

The Capital Regional District posted the largest gain in dollar volume, increasing nearly $30 million thanks to gains in both industrial and residential permit volumes. The Capital, Mount Waddington and Comox Valley Regional Districts exceeded their total 2015 permit values in the third quarter of 2015.

All but institutional-government permit numbers increased over the same quarter of 2014.

The Island’s construction sector employed 33,900 Island-wide in the quarter, up 4.3 per cent from one year earlier.

“Strong in-migration promises to support ongoing residential permits into the fourth quarter,” Baynton said. “And an improving economic outlook for B.C. is good news for the Island’s construction industry as we look towards 2016.”