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Surrey building permits strong through 2020 despite COVID-19 virus

DCN-JOC News Services
Surrey building permits strong through 2020 despite COVID-19 virus
PROVINCE OF B.C. — Surrey, B.C. building permit values exceeded expectations last year, despite the economic challenges the COVID-19 pandemic created.

SURREY, B.C. — Despite the economic challenges the pandemic has brought, building permit values in Surrey have not only rebounded, they are booming.

According to the city, the 10-year annual average for building permit values was exceeded in 2020 with $1.46 billion. Residential building remained the bulk of building permits in the city, comprising $1.1 billion of the construction value. Industrial building permits fell just short of the record-breaking 2019 revenue, making up for $238 million of total construction.

“Despite a brief dip in construction when the pandemic first hit, investment rapidly bounced back, showing the confidence in Surrey as a prime destination for new business and residents,” said Mayor Doug McCallum in a statement. “The Surrey SkyTrain expansion, combined with an increased demand for housing and commercial space in Surrey makes us confident these strong construction trends will continue through 2021.”

To ease permitting delays during the pandemic and keep people safe, city officials developed an online permit application process.

In 2017, Single Family Dwelling permit wait times peaked at 25 weeks. After the launch of the online process,  the average is now nine weeks. The flexibility of applying online proved to be convenient for businesses, with 35 per cent of trade permits being initiated outside of regular business hours. Approximately 98 per cent of electrical permits and 86 per cent of plumbing permits were also issued online.

“The new online permit process delivers both a safe and convenient way for customers to continue to operate their businesses, while further positioning the city to handle the expected surge in construction as our city continues to rapidly grow,” said Councillor Mandeep Nagra, chair of the city’s development advisory committee.

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