Capital Regional District building permit value drops

Interior renovations, however, flourishing in Victoria

Steve Burgess

The value of building permits throughout the Capital Regional District slumped 15 per cent between September and October.

The decline is even sharper, at 38 per cent, when comparing October 2011 to the same month last year, according to new figures by Statistics Canada,

A dip in large projects after a busy summer is mostly to blame, according to the Vancouver Island Construction Association. Municipal statistics from Victoria and Saanich, however, provide a more nuanced picture of the overall decline.

In Victoria, the raw number of building permits issued has actually increased every year since 2007.

So far this year, the number of permits issued reached 3,805 in the city, up from 3,383 five year ago. The value of building permits, however, has dropped $25 million since last year, and nearly $200 million since the pre-recession era of 2007.

A look at the types of permits approved helps to explain the opposing trend lines.

On the one hand, commercial and multi-family building has shrunk, while at the same time, interior home renovations are booming.

Year to date, interior building permits issued jumped from 165 last year to 246 this year, with a corresponding jump in value from $9 million to $20 million.

Home renovator Steve Burgess attributes the trend to the world economy.

“I think the big one for a lot of people is job security … People are not doing the big additions, but yeah, they’ll go ahead with the kitchen or bathroom reno – the small stuff.”

Burgess’ own business, Toolbox Renovations, has increased lately and he speculates its due partly to improvements to his website and partly due to wider economic trends.

In Saanich, the data tells a different story.

True comparison between the two municipalities is difficult due to different permit-reporting procedures, but one clear trend emerges.

While residential building permits are on the decline in Victoria, the opposite is true for Saanich,

In fact, the number of residential building permits issued in 2011 far surpasses any year since 2007. To date, 295 units have been approved in Saanich this year, mostly for apartment-style housing.

 

At a glance:

Residential building permits, including single and multi-unit housing:

Victoria:

2011: 219 (excludes Dec.)

2010: 406

2009: 450

2008: 172

2007: 874

Saanich:

2011: 295 (excludes Dec.)

2010: 212

2009: 125

2008: 275

2007: 422

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria-bound plane slides off icy Edmonton runway

Crew, passengers had to disembark via bridge stairs

VIDEO: Hundreds gather in Victoria as part of global Women’s March for equality

‘End Violence Against Women’ march theme for 2019

Victoria’s oldest pipes to be replaced this year

The pipes along Cook Street were installed in 1891 and are made of bricks

Student Voice: Saanich students launch competitive robotics team

The Reynolds Reybots plan to share their skills with middle schools

WATCH: Medieval fighters train in Colwood

Fighters are gearing up for world championships in medieval combat

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Most Read