Kamloops Building Permits and Property Sales Higher In July 2009

This article appeared in the Wednesday, August 12, 2009 edition of the Kamloops This Week and was written by Jeremy Deutsch.

Construciton - framing Kamloops HousingJust as the economy is starting to show signs of life, construction in Kamloops also appears to have been given a new ticker. For the second straight month, the number of issued building permits and their dollar values increased. In fact, the number of single-family permits issued for the month of July was more than the previous two months combined.

A total of 24 single-family residential permits were issued in Kamloops, making it a bigger month than July 2008, when 15 permits were handed out. Throw in another 88 multi-family units and the number of residential permits climbs to 112 – more than double the previous July. The value for all those permits added up to $17 million, which was more than in July 2008.

Though the commercial side – which had been strong throughout the year – did take a dip, the total value of construction permits for the year now sits at $72 million. That’s well short of the $122 million at this time last year, but on pace for the $120 million to $140 million projected for 2009.

The real estate market in the city was just as busy. According to the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association (KADREA), 264 residential units were sold in the city last month, marking a 14 per cent increase from July of the previous year. Of the units sold, 82 per cent were under $400,000. Craig McIntyre, president of KADREA, attributes the bump in sales to a number of different factors, including good selection on the market, reasonable pricing and low interest rates.

Though the market in the first half of 2008 was thought of as still being red hot, McIntyre pointed out sales were already trending downward before the global recession hit last fall. As for the future, McIntyre predicts sales to stay strong for the rest of the year, noting the peak months are in the spring and fall. While he suggested the market is on the cusp between a buyer’s market and a balanced market, McIntyre said it’s still a good time to buy. “Kamloops remains a good place to be.”