The impact of the economic slowdown in Estevan can be seen in the drop in building permits so far this year.
And while there was a slight increase in permits for June, the overall quantity and value of the permits are lower than in previous years.
According to the City of Estevan’s building permit report released earlier this month, there were 36 permits granted in the first six months of the year, with a total value of more than $4.7 million.
That number is only half of the 72 permits granted in the same time frame for 2014. And the permit value is a fraction of the $21.8 million total for the first half of 2014.
The good news is 15 permits were approved in June of this year, with a total value of $1.7 million. The quantity of permits was up from 11 in June of 2014, but the permit value for June of last year was $13.5 million.
Single-family residential permits have sustained the biggest reduction. Three permits have been issued for $805,150, compared to 38 permits, worth more than $5 million, through June of 2014. Many of last year’s permits were for the Ridge subdivision in south Estevan.
Multi-family projects have also seen a decline. Three permits were approved in the first six months of the year, creating 12 total housing units and carrying a total value of more than $2 million. Last year seven permits, with 18 total units and a value of more than $3.2 million, were approved.
The number of commercial permits remained steady, with four in each of 2014 and 2015. But the overall value is down, from more than $12.2 million last year to $529,000 this year.
There haven’t been any industrial permits issued this year, while last year there were two worth $400,000.
There have been increases in three of the permit categories so far this year. There weren’t any secondary suites in the first six months of last year, while one secondary suite worth $50,394 has been approved in 2015. Two institutional permits, worth $875,000, have been approved, versus none for the first six months of last year.
And nine garages have been approved, versus six a year ago. The total value ($189,437 this year versus $184,900 in June of 2014) is virtually the same.
The number of permits classified as miscellaneous remained steady at 14. But the overall value has declined, from $745,634 last year to $244,232 this year.
Estevan has been a hotbed for building activity in recent years. Last year there were 157 permits issued with a total value of more than $34.9 million. The permit values peaked in 2013, when several large multi-family projects started; 122 permits worth $57.8 million were granted. There were 111 permits worth more than $26.6 million in 2012, and 139 worth $40.6 million in 2011.