Prince George defies building trend

While residential building permits fell in B.C., northern city sees approvals surge into a ‘record-breaking’ year

Apartments under construction June 2021 in Prince George, B.C.| Photo: Arthur Williams, Prince George Citizen

Prince George is bucking a national trend that saw residential building permits across Canada fall nearly 7% in April from a month earlier, led by a 23.7% plunge in B.C.

The City of Prince George issued building permits for four new apartment/townhouse developments in May, with an estimated combined value of $45.5 million, according to a report that went to city council June 15.

As of the end of May, the city had issued a total of 210 building permits worth a combined $108.6 million – more than triple the $34.6 million in permits issued in the first five months of 2020 and nearly double the $56.5 million issued from January to the end of May in 2019.

"We're already at $108 million. This has all the hallmarks of being another record-breaking year in Prince George," Coun. Garth Frizzell said.

As of May 31, the city has issued permits for 14 new multi-family developments, worth nearly $60 million combined. It has also issued permits for 46 new single-family houses , seven new duplexes, six new mobile homes, three new commercial buildings, two new industrial buildings and a new institutional building, in addition to more than 100 renovations and additions to homes and commercial buildings.

"Our population is growing, that is very clear through this," Coun. Kyle Sampson said.

The construction activity happening throughout the city is creating jobs and boosting revenues for local contractors, Mayor Lyn Hall said.

"This is a big deal for us," Hall said. "It shows confidence for us in both the public and private sectors."

Up to the end of May, the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George has issued a total of 68 building permits worth a combined $9.6 million. Included in those numbers are permits for 13 new single-family homes, worth a combined $5 million, according to a June 15 report to the district board of directors.

Over the same period in 2020, the district has issued 96 permits worth $18.1 million. From January to the end of May 2019, the district had issued 87 permits worth a combined $6.5 million.

  • With files from Prince George Citizen

Western Investor Staff