City’s building permit values down, but outlook for future is improving

Red Deer’s monthly building permit values remain below the last year’s tallies, but the gap appears to be narrowing.

Red Deer’s monthly building permit values remain below the last year’s tallies, but the gap appears to be narrowing.

The city reported on Monday that it approved $10.2 million worth of construction work last month, down from $11.9 million in May 2008.

Although $2.2 million of this year’s figure relates to an addition and renovations at Aspen Heights School, the all-important residential category provides reason for optimism.

The city issued 32 permits valued at a combined $4 million for single-family homes last month. A year ago, there were 27 permits for single-family homes, with these worth $2.9 million.

The total value of permits approved for all types of residential work last month was $6.5 million, as compared with $8.8 million in May 2008.

“Overall housing construction values remain lower than last year but the month of May seems to show that the economy is rebounding from its slow start,” said Joyce Boon, development and licensing supervisor with the city.

Commercial projects accounted for $960,000 in May, down from $2.8 million last year. Industrial permits totalled $92,000, versus $295,000 a year ago, and public work produced $2.7 million in permits, as compared with none last year.

Other big permits approved last month included one for $450,000 to Servus Credit Union for work on half of the seventh floor of the Millennium Centre. Servus is moving some of its administrative operations to the 4909 49th St. building.

The total value of permits issued during the first five months of this year was $45.6 million, down 48 per cent from the $88.5 million in work approved by the city to the same point last year.

Cumulative residential permits this year have reached $22.8 million, a 61 per cent slide from the $58.4 million as of May 31, 2008.

In the case of permits for commercial work, this year’s figure of $8.6 million is down 63 per cent from the May 2008 tally of $23.4 million.

Industrial permit values this year are up to $47,000, which is 80 per cent lower than the $3.8 million approved during the first five months of 2008.

Public projects make up the one category in which 2009 building permits exceed the corresponding number from 2008. At $13.4 million, this year’s figure is more than four times the $3 million in public work approved last year.

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