A seniors’ housing development in North Kamloops drove building permit values in October, which was an average construction month according to the city.
But the year has been anything but average, with the city having set a new record for building permit values at the end of September and now on pace for a $400-million year.
Last month, the city issued 188 building permits worth $19.1 million, compared to 122 permits worth $37 million in the same month last year.
City of Kamloops building manager Jason Dixon said last October’s value was driven by two apartment buildings totalling $17.5 million.
“You take those out and the months compare pretty well,” he said, telling KTW he does not believe the pandemic is having an impact.
One larger permit that went out the door last month was a $5-million seniors apartment on Seventh Street in North Kamloops, next to the Kamloops RCMP community policing office.
Meanwhile, single-family permits were more popular last month than the same time last year, with 14 issued worth $6.5 million, compared to two in the same month last year worth $1 million.
“It’s quite a bit more,” Dixon said, noting year-to-date statistics for single-family is similar to last year.
“We’ve talked so much about apartments and more compact housing types and that sort of stuff, so it’s nice to see this continued activity and strength in single-family dwellings and we have a lot of activity across, for lack of a better term, the entire housing continuum… It’s good news.”
Last month, the city also issued $240,500 worth of swimming pool and hot tub permits, with five issued. It is up significantly from two permits issued last October worth $6,000. Pools and hot tubs continue to be popular, with more people at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date this year, the city has issued 41 such permits worth $912,000, compared to 21 last year worth $621,000.
Overall to the end of October, the city has issued 1,277 building permits worth $366.6 million, compared to 1,236 permits in the same time last year worth $246.7 million. This year’s values are impacted significantly by the Royal Inland Hospital’s patient-care tower project, which resulted in the largest single permit ever issued by the city — $94.5 million.
The $366.6-million in permits issued to the end of October exceeds the city’s previous full year record of $288.3 million in 2019. Last year’s total was preceded by two years of record-setting building-permit values — $285 million in 2018 and $224 million in 2017.