If the building permits issued last month are any indication, residential construction in Salmon Arm is booming.
September 2016 was the most active September for residential construction permits in Salmon Arm since at least 1999.
The value of residential building permits issued in September totalled $5,784,460, from $2,446,565 last September.
Only four months since 1999 have surpassed September’s total: March 2007, March 2008, May 2008 and June 2003.
Kevin Pearson, Salmon Arm’s director of development services says residential construction in Salmon Arm seems cyclical with booms happening approximately every 10 years since the mid 90s.
“If you look at the mid 90s, there was a big rush on single-family residential subdivisions and then in 2005, 2006 and 2007 there was another huge spike,” he said.
Single-family residential subdivisions in Canoe and Hillcrest are currently being built. Pearson said between the two subdivisions over 100 new lots would be created.
Although single-family developments are currently very active, Pearson said he foresees more multi-family developments, mainly townhouses and condos being developed in the future.
Gary Arsenault, the owner of Green Emerald Construction, who are currently developing a high-end subdivision on 20th St. NE says interest in higher-end homes in the Salmon Arm area is one thing driving the high building permit values.
“In the past, people have been buying houses in the under $400,000 type mark but now houses in the $600,000 to $700,000 range are what we’re building,” Arsenault said.
According to Arsenault, interest from people relocating from larger urban centres such as Edmonton and Calgary are driving demand for the more expensive homes as they find their housing budget goes much further in a more rural area.
“They can now afford to build their dream house. Instead of downsizing they’re actually upsizing,” Arsenault said.
Pearson said there is still plenty of available land for residential development to continue.
Thirty acres have been successfully removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) for residential construction.
Most of the land excluded from the ALR is around Hillcrest Elementary school and in the Upper Lakeshore area.
“The rate of built out and new lots being created on the excluded lands was at first slow but has been increasing over 2015 and 2016. There is still ample land available,” Pearson said.