Construction takes a dip
The weather in Kamloops may gradually be warming up, but the same can’t be said for the pace of construction in the city.
The number of single-family permits issued in March hit 17, nearly a 50 per cent drop from the 33 permits issued in March 2010.
That led to a slight drop in the overall construction value for the month — $16.4 million, a decrease from $17 million the previous March.
However, there were some positive statistics in the March building stats.
The residential portion of the monthly construction value reached $11.1 million in March, besting the previous year by more than $500,000.
That increase came in large part from a 38-unit multi-family development worth $5 million.
The city also issued $5 million in commercial-building permits for the month, which was pretty much on par with the $5.6 million from March 2010.
David Trawin, the city’s director of development and engineering services, said the numbers aren’t surprising, noting the beginning of 2010 was unusually strong.
“They’re right where we expected them to be,” he said of current numbers, predicting April will be a rebound month for construction in Kamloops.
Last year, the city handed out $191-million worth of building permits, but expected that number to drop in 2011 to about $140 million.
In the first quarter of 2011, the city handed out permits for 84 dwelling units, including 26 single-family units, for an overall value of $34.7 million.
By this time last year, the city was at 84 overall units for a total value of $41 million.
The number of housing starts in Kamloops also took a dip in March.
According to statistics from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the number of housing starts dropped to nine from 33 the previous year.
That pushed the overall starts down to 31 for the first three months of the year, compared to from 74 in March 2010.
However, the number of multi-family starts jumped to 152 from 111 in the first quarter of 2011.
The drop in single-family starts in Kamloops was in line with other communities in the region, such as Kelowna, which recorded a 46 per cent drop in starts.
Kamloops has only topped the $200 million in permits once, in 2008.
In that year, the city doled out $207-million worth of permits, which remains a record.