Led by the Capital Regional District’s 36-per-cent gain over the previous year, construction starts on Vancouver Island grew to a record yearly high of $2.239 billion in 2017, according to a report from the Vancouver Island Construction Association.
“The outlook for the Island’s construction industry is positive for 2018 with economic and population growth fueling the demand for residential and non-residential space,” association CEO Rory Kulmala said in a release. “With expanding building activity, limited labour supply and rising input costs, total construction costs will look to rise at a faster pace, although the forecast remains bright.”
Robust fourth-quarter numbers for the Island, while lower than those seen in the third quarter, saw the overall value of projects started during the year finish at 23 per cent higher than in 2016, Kulmala said.
“Employment in the construction industry also rose Island-wide, with most of the gains occurring outside the Victoria metro area,” he added.
Of the record total, $1.708 billion was in residential building permits, while the $530.4 million total for non-residential permits fell just shy of the record year of 2009 for that type of construction.
The biggest boost to the latter total was an increase in permits for institutional and government buildings.
The report went on to state there is more room for non-residential construction to expand under the Island’s improving economy. Market conditions for office, retail and industrial space are conducive for new investments, while more government building projects are also on the horizon.