Permits numbers down, but steady growth still seen in Brandon

Expect another year of bustling construction sites all across Brandon 2019 – there is solid and continued growth in the Keystone City.

Manitoba’s second largest city continues to expand and evolve, as figures recently released by the municipal government confirm.

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The City of Brandon’s Planning and Buildings Department 2018 year-end permit report statistics show that a total of 698 permits for various construction projects were issues last year. The reported value of these permits is approximately $84.5 million.

Of those 698 permits, 198 were for dwelling units.

These numbers also include permits issues for the RM’s of Cornwallis and Elton, which are located adjacent to the City of Brandon.

Year over year, the number of permits is down from the three municipalities, falling from 788 at the end of 2017 to 698 in 2018. In terms of overall dollar value, the amount of permits issued fell from a little more than $100 million to $84.5 million.

The biggest drop off was in Brandon residential permits, which fell from 380 to 170, amounting to a drop off $16 million.

Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest says permit numbers can fluctuate year-to-year, and that 2018 is indeed a down year compared to 2017.

“The numbers do swing up and down, and they can be skewed by a significant project in a year, or a new housing development,” said Mayor Chrest. “It seems even a single building can skew the numbers.

“They are down in 2018 over 2017, and the big culprit was that residential was down more than anything else – commercial is actually up 13 per cent, compared to residential being down 30 per cent.”

Mayor Chrest notes residential housing are built according to market demand, though he still sees plenty of interest from developers in investing in Brandon and the surrounding area when looking at the big picture.

“Over the last eight to 10 years, we’ve had strong numbers, and they continue to be strong overall,” he said. “So it’s not really going backwards, but a reduction in the speed of growth.

Breaking down the numbers, there was $26.9 million in commercial permits issued for 2018 (which includes a wide variety of sub categories such as multi-unit dwelling, commercial businesses, and renovations). Of note, there were 11 permits for commercial projects which totaled $7.8 million, and 62 permits issues for renovations which totaled $12.2 million.

There were also 27 industrial permits issues, totaling $7.6 million. The largest amount in this category was three permits for accessory buildings which totaled $6.2 million.

In the residential category, there were 380 permits issued, amounting to $37.2 million in growth. The largest chunk of that saw 97 permits issues for the construction of single detached dwellings totaling $16.8 million, while the second-largest saw 15 multi-purpose dwelling permits issued worth $9 million.

The RM of Cornwallis had 68 permits issued totaling $5.59 million in investment in the community – with 65 of those falling under the residential category.

In the RM of Elton, there were 17 permits issued totaling $1.9 million, with 11 residential permits totaling $1.1 million making up the bulk of their overall permits issued. 

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