Strong November pushes Kamloops to record-setting construction year

By Greg Fry
December 11, 2017 - 10:50am Updated: December 11, 2017 - 1:25pm

KAMLOOPS — The City of Kamloops says construction activity was way up year-over-year in November.

"November was a really strong month for us," says Building and Engineering Development Manager Jason Dixon. "We had $34 million worth of construction activity compared to $9.2 million in November of 2016."

Broken down, he says that number doesn't "so much" represent sales, but building permits for houses under construction ($18.7 million on the residential side and $14.6 million on the commercial side. $602,000 was classified as "other").

So, what does Dixon attribute the big increase to?

"If you go through the statistics you'll see a lot more commercial and institutional activity. It's often up and down in Kamloops. If you look back at our stats there's no sort of common threads to these kinds of projects. Some years are good, some years are a little quieter."

Year-to-date permits and construction value was $217 million, a huge jump from $150 million in November 2016.

"Our previous highest was $208 million in construction activity but that was a few years ago, probably pushing 10 years ago now. So, accounting for inflation this probably wouldn't be a record but it's been a good year."

He acknowledges the numbers don't jive with numbers released week from the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation which indicated housing starts were way down last month and this year (see previous story here).

Dixon says it's unclear what accounts for the discrepancy.

"I'm not sure. I know we produce StatsCan through our building permit process and obviously they take that information. But exactly how they develop their numbers I'm not privy to. I can't really answer where those numbers come from or how they're developed."

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