One sector of the economy that has been remarkably strong throughout the COVID pandemic is real estate – more particularly residential real estate. Homes are selling and new construction continues.
But that is just one segment of the overall real estate and construction market. Non-residential has not been as robust and investors, who have been slow to sign checks for new projects, are now gradually returning. The value of building permits is a great way to track the level of confidence investors are feeling. We have just received numbers of July.
It shows Saskatchewan’s recovery is making steady progress. Back in May, the total value of permits issued by local governments in the province hit $77 million – just over half of the level experienced a year earlier. A month later it rose to $91 million and then $100 million in July with $2 spent on residential construction for every dollar going into the commercial/industrial component.
The increases are tracking at roughly 10-percent per month but we still have a ways to go as the July number was just 80-percent of the figures posted for the same time frame a year ago.