Building permit values in Abbotsford dropped in October 2012, down 84 per cent from September 2012.
This was after a spike in institutional-government permits in September, which sent total permit values soaring 232 per cent last month, according to Vancouver Regional Construction Association's analysis of Statistics Canada Building Permit Report.
"We saw a drop in institutional-government permits in October that was to be expected after last month's substantial spike," said Keith Sashaw, president of the Vancouver Regional Construction Association.
"Abbotsford is a relatively small market compared to the Lower Mainland, and one major project would result in a significant play in the numbers," added Sashaw.
"We've seen some fairly low numbers over the last few months relative to previous months, and then a number of projects come in," he said referring to the spike in September permits.
Seasonally adjusted total building permit values in Abbotsford fell in October to $5.8 million from $36.9 million in September 2012. Total permit values year-to-date were 36 per cent lower to $160.7 million in the first 10 months of 2012, compared to $251.9 million in the same period last year.
Non-residential permit values dropped 90 per cent to $3.1 million in October 2012, from $31.4 million in September. Institutional-government permits fell to $0.4 million from $30.8 million while commercial permits jumped 466 per cent to $1.4 million from $0.2 million, and industrial permits shot up 262 per cent to $1.3 million from $0.4 million during the same period. The seasonally adjusted value of residential permits fell 50 per cent to $2.7 million in October 2012, from September's $5.4 million.
"The outlook is for modest gains in the industrial and public sectors for the balance of 2012, but fewer total permits will likely be issued mainly because one large commercial project boosted the 2011 figure in Abbotsford," said Sashaw.
Total building permit values fell 40 per cent in the Lower Mainland-Southwest region to $473 million in October 2012, compared to $784.9 million in September.
"Abbotsford building permits seem to be languishing a bit compared to the rest of the Lower Mainland," said Sashaw.
"We're anticipating permits will increase [in 2013], with more projects in the pipeline and greater consumer and investor confidence."
? With more than 700 members, VRCA is B.C.'s largest and most inclusive regional construction association, representing union and non-union, general and trade contracting companies, manufacturers, suppliers and other professionals throughout the Lower Mainland from Hope to Whistler.