As parts of Greater Victoria's economy emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, there continues to be good news from the construction and real estate sectors.
The Vancouver island Construction Association says the value of building permits is on the rise after an initial slowdown caused by the outbreak of the pandemic.
“Victoria’s residential building construction investment spending surged in May to $163.49 million following a pandemic-related contraction in April,” Rory Kulmala, CEO of the Vancouver Island Construction Association, said in a news release.
“Despite the significant impacts of COVID-19 on our economy, the construction sector has remained active and has demonstrated its resiliency in these uncertain times. We will continue to be a key element towards our economic recovery”
As well, a report by Colliers International shows that commercial vacancy in downtown Victoria has increased slightly to 5.9% from 5.1% for the first three months of 2020. The difference is attributed to two provincial ministries moving their offices to a new complex in James Bay. The impact of COVID-19 has been nominal, the report found. However, the rate could increase as more leases are up for renewal in the months ahead.
Housing starts have also been strong, with more homes being built this July than the same month last year. The numbers announced Tuesday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reflect the fact the construction industry has been able to keep working safely throughout the pandemic.