Medicine Hat News
Construction rebound eased painful year
A relative bounce-back in residential construction, renovations and several new commercial projects kept Medicine Hat’s construction sector active in 2020, but the lack of new major projects left building permit figures lower for the year.
New statistics from the city’s planning department peg the estimated value of proposed construction during the year at $48.8 million.
That’s down from $90.6 million in 2019, when permits for a new school and the expansion at Cancarb cumulatively added $35 million to the total.
The new single-family housing sector saw a rebound from 2019, when only 20 new home permits were issued. That was considered an absolute low-point in the local homebuilding community.
Final year figures for 2020 show 37 home permits released, including five in December, at an average estimated budget of price of $308,700 excluding lot cost.
That is down slightly from 2019’s average budget, but beats expectations in the spring of a steep slowdown in the sector due to the pandemic and economic conditions.
As well, real estate board officials reported relatively strong performance in the 2020 local resale market, attributing the trend to low interest rates.
Developers at the Coulee Ridge subdivision, which opened to builders in late November, told the News that new home buyers are not putting a premium on designing their own space after COVID forced work-at-home situations.
In other residential housing types, fewer but more expensive duplex permits were let, while apartment and condo projects were lower in volume and value.
New garages were steady from year to year at 73, valued cumulatively at $1.2 million.
Other residential alternation permits were up by 10 per cent to $7.35 million on 469 projects.
Work on new commercial space kept pace as well. The 2020 figures comprise six projects, including a new small strip mall in Riverside and a new carwash and commercial complex on north Dunmore Road.