Housing starts climb

Increased activity reflects economic optimism in the city and beyond

THE NUMBER of building permits issued by the City of Terrace in 2011 reflects the economic optimism in the air, says the city’s senior building inspector.

The $9.9 million in permits approved by the city is up more than $1 million compared to last year, 62 per cent of which comes from residential projects.

“The best indicator you can look for is that people are building houses because that shows people are willing to invest,” said building inspector Bruce MIller to city councillors during the first meeting of the new council last night.

To date, nearly $3 million worth of permits to new homes were issued, more than double compared to 2010.

In all, permits for 19 housing units were issued, 13 of which are for houses.

Duplex permit value jumped from nothing to $420,000 this year, and residential renovation doubled to $1.3 million.

Miller said the high value of accumulated smaller permits, and new homes, is  significant to economic optimism.

“It’s giving people in general a very positive outlook,” said MIller. “And so house construction numbers have gone up and with that positive outlook commercial comes along on its back.”

Commercial builds made up 35 per cent of this year’s permits to date, with renovations more than doubling from last year at $3.2 million.

Councillor Brian Downie added it looks as though Terrace can “bank on more development in 2012.”

“That’s a pretty reasonable assumption,” Miller responded, hinting there are some more commercial developments being planned, too.

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