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October 28, 2017 4:35 am

Positive Signs in Building Stats

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 @ 3:59 AM

Prince George, B.C.-  The number of building and development permits issued  for the first quarter of 2015,  is significantly higher than  housingwhat was  experienced in  the same period of 2014 and 2013.

In  the first quarter  of this year, there have been 94 permits valued at $24.1 million, compared to  65 permits valued  at $14.4 million in 2013, and 55 permits valued at  $17.7 million in  the same quarter last year.

Significant  permits include $2.3 million for tenant improvements to the WIDC building on George Street,  $3.6 million for the Youth Shelter on Quebec Street, and  $1.3 million for a 10 unit  multi family development on Tabor Boulevard.

Councillor Albert Kohler says the increased construction is proof of the growth of the community “It is obviously a very subtle and quiet way happening,  but it’s happening, those  are great numbers.”

In the first three months of this year, there were 33 single family residential permits issued,  compared to  10  in the same period last year, and 8 in 2013 “It is a substantial increase, it is a dramatic uptick, and there’s no explaining it” said Councillor Garth Frizzell.

Mayor Lyn Hall   says he thinks the numbers are substantial news “We’ve talked about over  the last 6 months  about the growth of Prince George, and from what we are seeing in the building permits, the numbers don’t lie, they are the numbers,  that we are moving in the right direction and there is in fact more to  come. So I think there is a real reason to be very positive  about what’s going on in this community when it comes to development.”


That will probably level out over the next 6-months. With no winter and mortgage rates below 3% in the new year….

Even at 33 starts per quarter its a long ways from when PG was 400+ houses a year.

Most all real estate developments that last 20-years have been for the half million dollar home market. Very little has gone into rental housing, ranchers, or multi unit rentals. If the city is growing by having people relocate to PG, then the city has to hope they are looking for half million dollar homes if they want to buy new.

The population of the city youth has declined in half over the last 20-years and a large part of that is the restrictions on rentals to families. Most rentals in PG are either adult only, or not appropriate for raising kids in… and very little changes on that front it seems.

Same with seniors if their population has nearly doubled and growing… how are they going to get around in all these 4-5 story split level homes? Shouldn’t the city planners at city hall be ensuring at least some ranchers are built in mixed use neighborhoods to accommodate the aging population and their needs in the coming years?

WHY are they not building any small homes 1000 sq. ft.3 bed homes in area for starters and retired people. All the house now are 2 and 3 story’s. Just another reason for older people to move away to down sizes besides tax’s are a lot cheaper elsewhere in province.

The WIDC and the Youth Centre are basically tax dollar expenditures and don’t necessarily indicate any growth.

The increase in residential permits to 33 is a good increase, however my guess is that most of these houses will be built by people who already live in Prince George. My guess would be people in the 30 to 40 age range who are now building their own houses.

Nothing to indicate that the new houses are a result of people coming to Prince George.

I suppose if they really wanted to know, they could ask the contractors.

I agree that there is a need for more ‘entry-level’ housing in Prince George. Couples buying their first home and retirees looking to downsize simply do not require the kind of houses being built right now. That, and there is a large student population that is desperately looking for nicer accomodations. Literally all of the apartments in down are very, very dated and most are quite run-down. A property developer could make a killing if a new apartment building was built that offered a ‘nicer’ experience for renters.

P.S.: Does anyone know what is being built beside KFC on 5th Avenue?

Didn’t see anything about a permit for the new Marriot hotel by the library.
Must be later in the year .

Keep in mind the half-million dollar mark is quite reasonable for out of town buyers normally. If you’re selling your condemned house in Vancouver, you could buy 2-3 of these in PG.

I agree, there is a lack of multi family, and smaller dwellings. And the options for new multi family dwellings are either too expensive, or poor quality.

Eventually even the older smaller homes will be too expensive as many people are looking in this market and doing renovations. These houses won’t be cheap to get into soon. I’ve seen some creeping up to $300,000 when only a year ago it was reasonable to get into one for $250,000.

I totally agree with Eagleone, as I see it Prince George is heading in the direction of once was. Once was affordable for young and old, not so anymore. I see my kids moving to places which offer far more with the same cost or less. I know I won’t be staying if I am forced to pay ridiculous money for city services and land taxes. Two of my children have already moved away with their families I see the other two moving within the next 5 years. I thought Prince George was looking at becoming a 150,000 strong? last time I looked at the sign it appeared that Prince George decreased by 3,000. There are models to compare, it doesn’t take a dozen consultant to figure that out.

Maverick, which cities in BC are cheaper and offer more?

PG is probably the cheapest city to reside in within BC. Any cities of comparable size/services are normally much more expensive. Even Kamloops is considerably more expensive.

Also, being the “cheapest” isn’t necessarily the best. Prices are set by supply/demand. Kelowna has boomed in population, and their prices are much higher. Being too affordable makes people think it’s “cheap for a reason”

I have suspicion that the city has a population lot larger than is known to Stats Canada. The problem is, people not filling out the census.

I think we need to get stiffer penalties to those who don’t fill out the census. If it means suspension of Old Age, and or Welfare checks so be it.

We as Canadians enjoy a pretty good lifestyle. and we all have responsibilities, one of them is filling out the Census,…. This is not something that came about in the last 50 years. The Roman Empire did this to understand the populace. The English did it as well.

I agree with the above.

Thanks to the conservatives for making it optional. Understanding the populace is important for their own planning and providing services. Unbelievable they would make that process optional

I agree completely with the comments about a lack of lower priced housing in PG. Not everyone can afford, nor do they want to spend half a million dollars on a home. Most cities the size of PG and certainly those larger than PG, have significantly more diversity in their housing supply. Most if not all new subdivisions out here are developed with detached homes, semi-detached homes and townhouses, all in the same area. Depending on the area, prices range from the mid $200’s right up to half million dollar homes and higher. This is for brand new housing in the suburbs, a roughly 15 minute drive from the downtown core. Downtown properties are quite a bit more expensive. Houses a bit further out are quite a bit cheaper.

I personally think it’s a bit of an urban legend now to suggest that real estate in PG is a bargain. Compared to Vancouver and Toronto yes, but that holds true for everywhere. Compared to other places in Canada, PG doesn’t really have that much of an advantage. Just my opinion.

The 2011 Canadian Census showed Prince George with a population of 71,974.

BC Stats for the same year showed population of 73,803. BC Stats for 2014 shows 73,590.

The Regional District population for 2011 was 91,879, and for 2014 approx. 93000.

So there is a discrepancy between the official census and the BC Stats numbers.

We will see in 2016 if there are any changes.

My Wife and I just purchased and moved into our first house 2 years ago. In our price range (pretty average) there was only family size homes. We were looking for a newish home/townhome with a yard and it just wasn’t there. We ended up buying a house built in the 70’s and it turned out we love it. It is too big for us, but we are enjoying renovations.

At the time we purchased, we were seeing what we could get for our money in kelowna. They had exactly what we wanted.

I think PGJOHN hit it on the head. My wife and I both came up with the same conclusion. Prices haven’t gotten high enough to dictate that these smaller/slightly cheaper homes be built.

Lets hope that starts soon!

Out to lunch!!!

Well pgjohn,I am willing to pay the extra $500.00 a year to be out of the pulp mill smog and snow. I am sure it would be worth the equality of life & health not to mention savings on home heating and the monotony of shoveling snow daily. My thoughts of keeping up with Jones are far different from your obviously.

I am seeing that a lot, how PG is so affordable compared to other cities in the province. It used to be that way 15-20 years ago but we have caught up and surpassed a lot of them.

Need proof – here is a BC stats page full of fun facts about all the cities within BC and the taxes they pay.


I took the file from “Taxes and Charges on a Representative House” into my excel spreadsheet and sorted by “Total Residential Property Taxes and Charges”

PG comes out at #116 of 162 BC cities, even Willy’s Puddle pays almost a thousand less than us annually

Love the Nakusp/Castlegar/Nelson area, was a beautiful place to live and by the looks of it cheap too, never mind Kootenay power rates so low they almost used to give away the power.

The Island also fairly cheap on property taxes and if it wasn’t for the ferry I would still live there, still try and go visit family there twice a year – how can you possibly beat driving 10 minutes to go Salmon fishing or just walking out on the pier with a beer in one hand and a fishing rod in the other? Heck they even rent them for 2 bucks an hour with the lure. Right now I drive all day to hit the water for a couple days fishing and then another all day dive back home.

We pay pretty much the same as the Okanogan area, a no brainer on that one except their average home price is almost double ours.

Lower mainland? Can you say Chilliwack/Sardis area, can you also say cheap, just stay upwind

Palopu, BC Stats had us at 75,828 in their 2012/2013 report for our estimated population in 2011 – in fact Heather Olund and IPG used those numbers in their literature on how we were growing in leaps and bounds and had grown by about 4 percent in just 5 years but they must have been Chia people as they are now down to 73,803. The census has an error margin up to 2.2% and looks like BC Stats has been dropping their estimate in the last few years.

In 2012 the Vancouver Sun also reported UNBC had 4,226 students, 400 faculty, and 425 non-academic staff (5.1 students per staff member)

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