It looks like there is nothing stopping the new construction in the Victoria real estate market. Once again to the suprise to some and not others building permit applications are red hot. And why not this is an amazing place to live, play and work. Everyday, we at Properties in Victoria Professionals we receive numerous e-mail inquiries with regards to purchasing a little slice of heaven on this magical Island. For more inormation on this torrid pace please read the article below from the Victoria Times Colonist.
Building permits for first five months have shot up 62%
Darron Kloster, Times Colonist; — With files from CanWest News Services and Bloomberg News
Get used to the concrete trucks, construction cranes and snap of nailguns. Greater Victoria’s building boom is showing no signs of a slowdown.In fact, the clip of construction is revving up from an already rapid pace.
For the first five months of this year, the value of the region’s building permits — a leading indicator of construction activity — shot up 62 per cent over the same period a year ago.
Statistics Canada reported yesterday the value of permits issued from January to May increased to $464.9 million from $287.7 million over the first five months of 2006.
That total represents housing, commercial and institutional buildings going up throughout the region, including highrises in the Humboldt Valley, massive condo projects on the Upper Harbour, Songhees and West Shore, housing projects on Bear Mountain, multimillion-dollar education buildings at the University of Victoria and hospital buildings.
The five-month surge was the third highest in Canada, behind only Sudbury, Ont., at 150 per cent, and Saint John, N.B., at 67 per cent. Both cities, however, posted a quarter of Victoria’s overall building-permit value.
“We’ve got members who have been in business 35 years and they’ve never been this busy in their working lifetimes,” says Greg Bayton, president of the Construction Association of Victoria, which represents more than 300 companies on the lower Island. “It’s exciting for all of us.”
Baynton says the activity is far beyond a boom because there’s no bust in the typical three- to five-year building cycle.
“This is sustained activity,” he says. “We’ve been operating at optimum levels for seven years and projections from economists are predicting continued high activity until 2015 … some even saying to 2036.”
Baynton said a combination of a healthy economy fuelled by low interest rates, in-migration and increasing wages and B.C.’s fit between energy-rich Alberta and the Asian gateway put this province in an enviable position for sustained growth. The challenge, he says, is capacity and the ability to maintain skilled workers.
“The larger companies are booked to 85 per cent out to three years … it’s growth that companies can count on.
“But with 22,000 workers retiring in the next three to five years, it’s a substantial challenge,” he adds.
Greater Victoria building permits increased 15 per cent to $93.3 million in May over April’s $81 million, and helping contribute to a searing construction pace in Western Canada.
Construction in the West surged to its highest monthly level in May.
Canadian municipalities issued $6.8 billion worth of permits, up 21.4 per cent from April and 8.5 per cent higher than the previous peak reached in October 2006, far outstripping analysts’ expectations of about a six per cent increase for May. But more than 15 per cent of the total value in May came from only 15 large projects.
The Calgary and Vancouver metropolitan areas were responsible for nearly 75 per cent of the overall gain in dollar value in May. Excluding those two areas, the total value of permits would have increased by only seven per cent instead of 21.4 per cent, the Statistics Canada report said.
Gains in those two metropolitan areas pushed the total value of permits in Alberta and British Columbia to record highs, the federal agency said. Calgary’s permits rose 161 per cent to $1.06 billion during May, while Vancouver, fuelled by 2010 Olympics-related projects, rose 38 per cent to $803 million.
Microsoft Corp., the world’s biggest software maker, said yesterday it will open a new software-development centre in Vancouver later this year. In Calgary, work has started on a new headquarters for EnCana Corp., Canada’s largest natural-gas producer. The building has a permit for $645 million in work.
Statistics Canada noted there was also strong growth in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, due largely to construction intentions in the non-residential sector.
Non-residential permits surpassed the $3-billion mark for the first time due to a huge increase in commercial projects. Contractors took out a record $3.1 billion in permits for proposed construction projects, up 55.7 per cent from April. That level was 18.5 per cent higher than the previous record of $2.6 billion set in January, the report showed.
On the residential side, municipalities issued $3.7 billion in permits, a 2.4 per cent increase from April. The value of single-family permits increased, while multi-family permits slipped marginally.
The Canadian two-year bond yield rose to a two-week high after the permits report. The yield on the 3.75 per cent bond maturing June 2009 rose five basis points, or 0.05 of a percentage point, to 4.66 per cent in Toronto.
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