Q3 2018: Apartment building stalls in the CRD; growth accelerates in the Alberni-Clayoquot & Mount Waddington RD


Victoria, BC (November 20, 2018) - Construction activity on Vancouver Island remained active during the July to September 2018 period with the total dollar value of building permits issued reaching $572.8 million — a decrease of 30 per cent over the second quarter of 2018.

Non-residential permits, however, didn’t follow this trend and instead jumped 39 per cent over the second quarter to $150.5 million with gains in all categories.

“While we’ve seen substantial building permit activity Island-wide this quarter, the overall drop is the result of fewer apartment permits issued in the Capital Regional District,” said Rory Kulmala, CEO of the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA). “Apartment permits tend to bounce up and down and we’re coming off a period of robust activity.”

The highest growth on the Island in the third quarter was in the Mount Waddington Regional District, which saw a 99 per cent increase in the dollar value of building permits. This was followed by the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, which saw a 91 per cent increase over the second quarter. 

Total spending on residential construction decreased 41 per cent Island-wide to $422.2 million. Total investment spending on non-residential building construction in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area increased nine per cent in the quarter and rose 12 per cent in the first nine months of 2018 over the same period last year.

Non-residential building construction costs slowed to 1.7 per cent year over year.

Construction employment increased 4.3 per cent Island-wide year-to-date. Victoria led the way with 2,300 more workers on the job compared to same period last year.

“By year end, we expect total building permits to reach $2.6 billion, which is 16 per cent higher than the total value in 2017,” said Kulmala. “We also expect apartment permits in the Capital Regional District to rebound as a result of downsizing baby-boomers and demand by first-time buyers.”

For 2019, we’re optimistic activity will continue, but likely at a lesser pace.


The Vancouver Island Construction Association, serves our construction community: the institutional, commercial, industrial, civil, and multi-residential construction sectors on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and other coastal areas of British Columbia. VICA’s 450+ members come from all areas of the industry from owners, architects, and engineers to consultants, manufacturers, and contractors.

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To view the detailed report, please contact Kelly Marion, Manager, Marketing & Communications, Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA), or call her at 250.800.0918 to schedule an interview with VICA CEO, Rory Kulmala. 

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