As the economy falls so do building permits in Vancouver, which plunged in January to half the previous years number… ‘experts’ say the industry may be turning a corner. Article in the Globe and Mail:
That grim news means that Vancouver is now projecting to get only half of its normal $25-million in fees related to development this year – a scenario that’s being echoed to some degree in other Lower Mainland municipalities.
But Vancouver’s finance committee chair and many people in the development industry say the region may be turning a corner.
“The February numbers will inform us more and so will March, but we may have seen the worst of it,” said Councillor Raymond Louie, who is monitoring the numbers for signs that the city should tighten its budget belt even more.
There is a sign of hope: Development consultant Bob Ransford said the company he works for will be putting in an application to develop 900-1,300 units in Vancouver’s Collingwood Village on the far eastern side of the city. That site, now single family homes that have been assembled by the Waterfront Group, would become part of the dense new neighbourhood that has been developed there over the past decade.
“We know it will take some time to get it approved, but they’re optimistic that that the market will return,” said Mr. Ransford. Although the company isn’t making any construction commitments, even putting in an application requires paying significant fees to the city.
Mr. Ransford and others familiar with the development industry say they are hearing through the grapevine that there are signs of life in the housing market. More people are starting to appear at presentation centres and “people are writing deals,” said Mr. Ransford.