February building activity continues slower trend in Kamloops

KAMLOOPS - Multi-family housing had a strong month for building permits, but overall February’s building permit numbers are half what they were in 2015.

Aside from 68 apartment units being built in a $5.5 million project, February was a slow month for permits. The total value of permits in February 2016 was just under $11.4 million, a little over half of February 2015. That puts 2016 on a much slower pace compared to 2015, with 2016 permit values at $15 million, or less than half of the first two months of 2015 so far.

Residential permits were actually above 2015 in both value and number, though just slightly. February 2016 outpaced the year before with 40 permits worth more than $10.6 million, which were four more permits and $2.3 million more in value over 2015.

The commercial sector was particularly slow, with only seven permits totalling $715,000 in value issued in February. Last year only eight permits were issued in February, but they were valued at $13 million thanks in part to work done at both Kamloops casinos.

Totals from 2015 seem to be an anomaly and values from 2016 are above 2013 and 2014.

Permit application numbers were affected by building code changes in 2014, which increased 2015’s numbers, Kamloops building official Kundar Bubbar previously said.

Residential sales were up last month though, with February 2016 numbers improving on February 2015 numbers, according to a Multiple Listing Service report. With more than $71 million in sales, February 2015 had almost $20 million more in sales — $5 million more in commercial and $15 million in residential. However, the value of the average residential sale was about equal to 2015 but there were 43 more sales in 2016.

With the strong February, 2016 is substantially ahead of 2015 for real estate activity for the year, with more sales and higher total values in all categories, according to the report.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin at bkergin@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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