Value of new building permits dropped by almost 30 per cent across Greater Victoria between November 2019 and November 2018 (Black Press Media File)

Value of new building permits in Greater Victoria down almost 30 per cent

Year-to-year drop of 27.9 per cent consistent with other figures

New figures confirm construction is slowing down in the Greater Victoria region.

The value of new building permits in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMAs) dropped 27.9 per cent during the 12 months between November 2018 and November 2019.

Whereas municipalities issued new building permits worth $121.9 million in November 2018, the value of those permits reached just $87.9 million.

Among the four CMAs in B.C., Victoria recorded the second-largest drop, behind Vancouver CMA where new building permits dropped 42.1 per cent. Kelowna recorded a drop of 16.6 per cent, while Abbotsford-Mission recorded an increase of 94.1. Looking across Canada, new building permits dropped by 8.6 per cent for Canadian CMAs as whole, meaning that Victoria’s drop was worse than elsewhere.

RELATED: Housing starts, value of building permits down across Greater Victoria

The drop is consistent with other figures that have shown declining construction activity across the region and growing concerns about the state of the provincial economy, especially in the resource sector. This said, the provincial economy has also seen some positives. Changes to mortgage lending rules dating back three years with minor revisions along the way coupled with what some are uncertainty-causing municipal rules are also likely culprits for the slow-down.

Preliminary housing data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) shows new construction starts in Greater Victoria dropped seven per cent between January and November 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. The drop happened across all types of buildings with starts for single family homes dropping 23 per cent, and a combined three per cent for all other types.

Experts, however, have noted that construction is slowing down after years of historic growth. This said, the slow-down has been especially notable in British Columbia, where the value of new building permits dropped 24.3 per cent year-to-year, the third-largest among the 10 provinces, with the national rate dropping 2.7 per cent.


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