In 2018, the city surpassed its previous record-setting construction year by nearly $61 million worth of building permits.
“It’s really good news for Kamloops,” City of Kamloops building and engineering development manager Jason Dixon said.
While the previous annual record — $224 million in 2017 — was surpassed by the end of November, the city’s December building permit report noted $285 million worth of permits issued by year’s end.
December brought in an additional $22.4 million, outpacing last year’s holiday season, which saw $6.7 million worth of permits issued.
Most of the additional $22.4 million was tied to Nationwide Self Storage at 1502 Hugh Allan Dr. in Aberdeen ($13 million) and two industrial storage buildings at 211 Andover Cres.. in Dallas.
In 2018, the bulk of permits ($163.8 million) were residential, including a surge in multi-family construction. Multi-family units were up 37 per cent in 2018 over 2017, including 423 apartments.
Dixon said that is due to pent-up demand.
Single-family dwelling permits, meanwhile, were down 38 per cent (130 compared to 210 in 2017).
The Central Interior chapter of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association previously told KTW that was due to lot shortage.
Dixon said as the city grows, it has less available land for development.
“It’s just harder and harder, topographically, just to create the lots service-wise,” he said.
While the dollar values were high in 2018, permits overall were down: 969 in 2018 compared to 1,151 in 2017.
Next year’s construction values could be inflated, due to work on the $417-million patient-care tower at Royal Inland Hospital.
Dixon said conservative estimates by the city for 2019 are in the $205- to $210-million range.
Kamloops building permit values by year:
2016: $157.7 million
2017: $224.2 million
2018: $285 million
2019: estimated to be $205 to $210 million