Kamloops This Week: Kamloops Housing Starts Slow In April 2009

Kamloops Housing Starts, April 2009This article appeared in the Kamloops This Week on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 and was written by Jeremy Deutsch.

It was expected to be a slower year for development around the River City, but the drop in residential single family permits for the month of April caught the city by surprise. The number of single family permits in April dropped to five, down from 26 the previous year. It brings the total number of permits to just 16 in the first four months of 2009, compared to 101 by the same time last year.

David Trawin, director of development and engineering for Kamloops acknowledged the number is lower than expected. However, he’s confident that segment of construction will rebound in coming months. “If it goes like this for three months, it will be shocking,” he said. Trawin pointed out single family permits are just one aspect of total construction value.

Last year the city set a record topping the $207-million mark for the value of construction permits. Staff predicted a return to a normal pace in 2009, with value estimated at $120 million to $140 million. Four months into the year Trawin is still optimistic the city will meet its prediction. So far, the city has reached $23 million in value for 2009 – more than half coming from commercial development, which is up by $4 million over 2008.

Residential value sits at just over $11 million, but that’s down form $25 million last year. One positive side to the slowdown noted by Trawin is that it has given his department a chance to catch up on files and inspections. One building inspector has been allocated to do follow up inspections on new developments to look for deficiencies like incomplete fencing or landscaping.