VICTORIA — Building permits went into decline on Vancouver Island in the second quarter of 2018 but non-residential permits pushed upward.
The total dollar value of building permits issued reached $572.8 million, a decline of 30 per cent over the second quarter, and total spending on residential construction decreased 41 per cent across the island to $422.2 million.
However, non-residential permits jumped 39 per cent over the second quarter to $150.5 million in gains in all categories. The highest growth was in the Mount Waddington Regional District, with a 99 per cent increase in building permit dollar value, followed by the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District which had a 91 per cent increase.
“While we’ve seen substantial building permit activity Island-wide this quarter, the overall drop is the result of fewer apartment permits issued in the Capital Regional District. Apartment permits tend to bounce up and down and we’re coming off a period of robust activity,” said Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) CEO Rory Kulmala in a statement.
“By year end, we expect total building permits to reach $2.6 billion, which is 16 per cent higher than the total value in 2017. We also expect apartment permits in the Capital Regional District to rebound as a result of downsizing baby boomers and demand by first-time buyers.”
Total investment spending in non-residential building construction in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area increased nine per cent in the quarter and rose 12 per cent in the first nine months of 2018 over the same period last year. Non-residential building construction costs slowed 1.7 per cent year-over-year.
For 2019, a VICA release said, the organization is optimistic activity will continue but may be at a slower pace.