August strong month for Saskatchewan construction

The City of Moose Jaw issued a total of 26 building permits in August. File Photo.

Moose Jaw building permit numbers drop, but see value increase

This August was a busy one for the province’s construction contractors.

According to the provincial government, Saskatchewan had the second highest growth rate amongst all provinces when it came to money spent on construction. In Moose Jaw, a total of 26 permits were issued for construction for the month. These permits included 21 for residential work and four for commercial work. Besides these permits, the city also issued one government permit, for improvements to a recreation center. In total the projects were worth a combined $7,571,555. The city’s director of planning and development services, Michelle Sanson, said there were some small changes from the previous year.

“We’re actually down. We were only at 26 permits as compared to 28 last year,” she said.

But despite the city issuing two fewer construction permits, more overall money was spent on construction in Moose Jaw in August. Sanson said this can be attributed to some specific projects.

“We had two really large commercial projects that came in, in August,” she explained.

These two projects were a retail complex and a restaurant, both of which were valued at millions of dollars each. This helped push the total value of construction work up $800,000 from 2016 levels. Sanson explained that the value of a commercial project is determined by the city on the basis of numbers provided to them by the developers. These figures include the cost of materials and labour. The cost of the land is not factored in to the value of the permit. In terms of how much a homeowner or developer pays for a permit, it tends to vary depending on the project.

“It’s based on the construction value. It’s $6 per $1,000 of construction value,” she said.

“Depending on the square footage, there’s a price for the garage, there’s a price for the second floor, it depends on what portion of the house,” she added.

However, despite the rise in the month of August, according to Sanson, the city is down by $450,000 dollars from where it was last year at this time.

“I am not sure we’re keeping pace with the province that way,” she said.