Building boom continues in London, with one possible exception – The London Free Press
New construction in London continues at a blistering pace, even though there’s been a significant drop in the number of building permits issued in the first six months of this year for single detached dwellings, city numbers show.
“We’re going to be very close to the $1-billion mark” at the end of the year, said Peter Kokkoros, the deputy chief building official at city hall.
In 2017, the value of permits issued totalled $1.1 billion. In 2016, an all-time record was established when $1.4 billion in permits was handed out by city hall. That’s taking into account all building – industrial, residential, commercial, agricultural and so on.
The one blip in the numbers up until the end of June is single detached dwellings, which have dropped.
“I wouldn’t say I’m concerned. Things look healthy,” said Kokkoros.
Home construction behind Saint Andre Bessette Catholic High School in the northwest corner of London. (Mike Hensen/The London Free Press)
In the first six months of 2017, 571 permits were issued for those types of homes. In contrast, only 377 permits were issued this year up until the end of June – a drop of 34 per cent.
“Yes, we have seen a decrease to the singles,” said Kokkoros. “I wouldn’t consider that as a bad number.”
Kokkoros believes the natural ebb and flow of the market is responsible for the lower numbers. He says it wouldn’t be appropriate to make any overall statements about the health of London’s economy based on that one statistic.
He said if you look at the numbers for the last five or 10 years, you’ll see the same kind of pattern – that is, growth in the total numbers after a period of gradually falling. But the overall trend is upward.
From January to the end of June this year, $530,484,927 worth of permits were issued. That compares to $559,474,323 in the same period in 2017. “We are about $29 million less than last year,” Kokkoros said, pointing out some major projects are still to come.
“I know that there are a couple apartment buildings in the hopper,” he said.
Sue Wastell, head of the London Home Builders’ Association, could not be reached for comment for this story.