Building boom continues despite drop in permits
$724 MILLION IN SIX MONTHS
Hamilton has had a whopping 35 per cent increase in construction this year compared to last, according to a new report from the city.
More than $724 million in construction value has taken place over the first six months of this year compared to $535 million over the same period last year.
The values are calculated from information provided on building permit applications that require an estimate of the cost of the work.
The actual number of building permits is down slightly, to 4,326 this year compared to 4,788 last year.
But Dio Ortiz, the manager of building engineering and zoning, said that shows the actual projects are bigger this year.
Most notably, he said, is a recently started $88-million expansion project at the water and wastewater treatment plant. It’s a first phase of a five-year renovation and that will eventually total of more than $300 million.
Construction for the second phase of the project — valued at $76 million — is expected to start later this year or early next year.
The residential construction sector has been hot as well, with a 22 per cent increase, driven largely by condominium and apartments, said Ortiz.
The figures from the city’s planning and economic department compare construction activity this year to an average of the previous three years. Those figures found a 38 per cent increase in overall construction.
Ortiz says continuing high construction growth over the past several years is partly explained by a more diverse economy.
“Hamilton is well poised to withstand a lot of downturns because of diversity in the local economy. We’re not as dependent on heavy industry as we once were.”
Matt Vervoorn, the president of the Hamilton-Halton Construction Association, says the industry is so busy it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find companies to take on new projects.
“People are so busy doing work that they don’t even have time to
price ongoing and upcoming projects,” he said.
The figures from the city’s planning and economic department compare construction activity this year to an average of the previous three years. Those figures found a 35 per cent increase in overall construction.