Permits tell a story
It’s a little contrary to the provincial Liberal party rhetoric about how bad the 1990s were, but building permit statistics in the City of Prince George, while rebounding, are still far below the highs reached during the decade the NDP were in power.
Historical data released by the city this week shows that the number of building permits issued averaged between 1,000 and 1,200 permits per year from 1990 to 1997, with residential permits making up the bulk of them. In 1997 our economy was hammered by what is commonly referred to as the Asian flu.
The permits dropped to just over 500 in 2000, increasing to 800 in 2005, with a steady drop since then.
Single family dwellings, understandably, follow a similar pattern with permits issued for close to 400 new homes in1992. This dropped off to a low of less than 50 in 2001, with about 220 in 2006 being the largest number since then.
Building permit values, however, have followed a different pattern since then. Construction values peaked at about $140 million worth of construction in each of 1992 and 1993. That dropped to a low of $40 million in 2002. It jumped to almost $160 million in 2007, likely as a result of the $100 million cancer clinic, dropped off to less than $70 million in 2009 and then jumped to about $130 million in 2010, likely due to the $40 million RCMP detachment.
Last month, however, proved to be a fairly significant month with permits issued for $6,345,770 worth of construction in the city. Key among them were a $4 million permit for a new Wajax facility at 4620 Pacific Street, $900,000 for a new office building at 2977 Ferry Avenue, and five new single family dwellings, valued, in total, at just over $1 million.
In addition, a downtown development permit was issued to Yomo Management for a new All-West Glass commercial building at 1011 Victoria Street and an industrial development permit was issued to Pasiuk Holdings for a new industrial building on Pacific Street.
It’s good to see the number of building permits edging their way back up in 2012. Let’s hope it continues.