Building permit values down in August

Total building permit values in the Abbotsford region declined in August, according to the Vancouver Regional Construction Association’s analysis of today’s Statistics Canada building permit report.

“Building permits declined in August to their lowest level this year leaving total permits only four per cent ahead so far this year compared to the same period last year,” says Keith Sashaw, president of the Vancouver Regional Construction Association.

Seasonally adjusted total building permit values in the region decreased 36 per cent in August compared to July 2010, to $7.9 million. Non-residential permit values declined to $1.1 million, down 55 per cent for the month, while the value of residential permits decreased 31 per cent to $6.7 million from $9.8 million in July.

“Non-residential activity fell in August on very low commercial permit activity and no public permits,” says Sashaw. “Residential permits dropped to their second lowest level this year reflecting the weaker housing market.”

Total building permit values in the Abbotsford region are up to $97.1 million in the first eight months of 2010 compared to $93.8 million in the same period last year. The four per cent rise is led by a 69 per cent increase in residential permits year-to-date. Non-residential permits are 45 per cent lower to $23.8 million from $43.5 million in the same period.

Comparisons to last year remain highly favourable since permits were at recession lows, but that comparison will likely continue to shrink with each month in the rest of the year, says VRCA.

The outlook is mixed for the local construction sector, some softness is certainly coming in the residential and government sectors with declining housing sales and the ending of stimulus plans, says VRCA. Total permits this year will likely come in lower than in 2009 based on current trends.

James Chung

Vancouver Lifestyle, Cool Tech & Travel Adventure. Email: [email protected]

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