First all residential dwelling permits graphed since 2007.
Here are the permits parsed for 1-2 dwelling units only (i.e. SFHs):
Note there is an increase in permit value in the later half of 2009. I am unsure why that occurred.
We turn our attention to the proverbial elephant in the room, multi-unit buildings (i.e. condos):
And a quick look at all permits' value, residential and commercial:
- There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that the City of Vancouver has become reliant upon permit revenue to fund its ongoing operations. That the City has announced severe cuts to operations -- layoffs -- should come as no surprise after looking at these data.
- This is the strongest evidence I have seen that there was a severe building recession through most of 2008 and into early 2009, though we all pretty much knew this to be the case without these data. The total number of permits issued through this recession is significantly below what is required to feed the City's average population growth rate of the last decade.
- Permits for SFHs eked out a rebound in the second half of 2009. I am not surprised by this at all given how low mortgage rates were and continue to be. I would expect a continued higher level of permit applications for SFHs through at least the first half of 2010.
- The proverbial elephant in the room is multi-unit permits. While there was a slight resurgence in permits for condos in the latter half of 2009, it is significantly subdued from those heady days earlier in the decade.
- The majority of laid off construction workers must look elsewhere for employment in the coming year.
- Laneway housing started to be reported in November 2009. There were a handful of permits issued: 9. I will be interested to see how successful this scheme becomes in the coming year.