Traditional residential housing permits saw an uptick in May, according to the city’s latest building permit statistics, with Kamloopsians building new homes, adding onto old ones and continuing to seek opportunities for a backyard dip.
In May, the number of permits issued by the city rose, compared to the same month last year, but the value of such permits dropped. In May of this year, the city issued 180 permits worth $17.1 million, compared to 113 permits totalling $24.9 million in the same month of 2020.
Last May, the city issued two permits for apartment projects — buildings on Yew Street in North Kamloops and on Fifth Avenue downtown, by the RCMP detachment — valued at $17.5 million.
Meanwhile, this year, the city saw an uptick in May of single-family dwelling permits (13 issued worth $5.5 million, versus four issued worth $2.1 million in May of 2020), as well as 41 permits worth $2.1 million issued for additions, alterations and swimming pools/hot tubs, compared to 22 such permits worth $657,000 issued in May 2020.
The city’s development supervisor, Jason Dixon, said the building industry continues to be busy, particularly on the residential side.
“More in the traditional residential side, we don’t have a bunch of apartment buildings in the stats or anything this year that we saw last year,” Dixon said. “It’s more those single-family houses that we saw, those multi-family duplex, those types of projects that’s driving the stats this year.”
Dixon said business on the residential side can be attributed to people stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even last year was busy for pools and we’re double where were last year for pools already this year,” Dixon said. “Just a shift.”
Through the first five months of 2021, the city has issued 680 permits worth $61.5 million, compared to 564 permits worth $108.8 million during same five months of 2020. Dixon said the difference in values is due to permitting issued last year for the Royal Inland Hospital’s patient-care tower project. Dixon said that the sizeable project skewed the numbers, noting this year is a return to normal.
“The good news for me here is just the sheer volume of permits,” he said, noting “clearly it’s busy.”
Kamloops is coming off four successive record-breaking building-permit years, with 2020 setting a new high mark.
Last year, 1,479 building permits worth $395.1 million were issued, surpassing the city’s previous record of 1,443 permits valued at $288.3 million set in 2019. That value bested the 2018 record of $285 million, which in turn shattered the 2017 record of $224 million.