Construction activity on Vancouver Island continued at a hectic pace during the April to June period with the total value of building permits issued reaching $806.9 million – a 42 per cent gain over the first quarter of 2018.
“We’ve had a very busy year so far which is a sign of economic strength and an upswing in population growth,” said Rory Kulmala, CEO of the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA). “Vancouver Island continues to be an attractive place to live and to invest.”
The highest growth on the Island was in the Nanaimo Regional District which saw a 48 per cent increase in the dollar value of building permits, followed by the Capital Regional District with a 47 per cent increase over the first quarter.
Total spending on residential construction spiked 45 per cent Island-wide to $698.2 million while non-residential building construction increased 23 per cent to $108.6 million. Total investment spending on non-residential building construction in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) increased one per cent in the quarter but was up 16 per cent in the first half over the same period last year.
Non-residential building construction costs slowed in the quarter, increasing by just 0.1 per cent to $119.6 million.
Construction employment increased by 8.6 per cent Island-wide in the first half of 2018. Victoria led the way with 1,800 more workers on the job in the second quarter.
The Major Projects Inventory recorded a three per cent increase in the quarter to $60.6 billion. Kulmala pointed to projects in the works, including Union Bay Estates in the Comox Valley: a proposed 346-hectare residential and resort development with 2,949 mixed residential units, two hotels, 375,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, and a marina, to be developed over 20 years.
More housing and non-residential construction is also on the way.
“By the end of 2018, I think we’ll see total building permits increase by about 20 per cent with construction employment up another three per cent or more,” Kulmala said.