Vernon, B.C., had a record year for building permits in 2021.
The city issued $173 million worth of permits last year, more than in any previous year.
That broke the city’s old record of $169 million set in 2008.
The record year is welcome news at city hall. The city expects the construction to add hundreds of housing units and boost other sectors of the local economy.
“$173 million of direct impact leads to secondary and tertiary spending and that benefits all members of our community,” said John Perrott, the city’s manager of economic development and tourism.
“We heard from a lot of businesses about just how positive their outlook is heading into 2022.”
The development also comes as the city experiences a housing shortage.
Vernon real estate agent John Deak said any new builds are helpful as local housing supply isn’t keeping up with demand.
“We are in a housing crisis here: the amount of demand that is out there for the lack of inventory that we have. We are down, I believe, over 40 per cent on our inventory levels from last year, and last year we were complaining that we had nothing to sell,” Deak said.
Despite the lack of housing supply, the real estate agent said he continues to see a lot of people interested in moving to the Okanagan.
“We definitely need more doors of every type: whether a condo apartment all the way up to a high-end house sitting on a golf course. We need more of absolutely everything, even commercial properties. The commercial properties are getting snapped up,” Deak said.
Perrott said more housing projects are in the pipeline.
“I’d say to those looking for multi-family or a wider variety of price points, just be patient. [We’ve had] a lot of conversations with various developers looking at multi-family and infill-type projects so we are going to see a lot more activity coming up again in 2022,” Perrott said.
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