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Surge in building permits in first half of 2021 highest in 10 years: region

Residential sector driving the most activity with permits issued for $634.8 million in construction between January and June
USED 2021-10-07 good morning cambridge
Work continues on one of several new housing developments on Equestrian Way in Hespeler.

Almost $800 million in new building permits were issued in Waterloo region between January and June 2021, according to a briefing note being tabled at next week's committee of the whole.

The value of building permits issued in the first six months of the year represents the strongest showing in the past ten years, with a total permit value that is 39 per cent higher than the ten-year average of $565.3 million.

In addition, the value of permits issued increased by 41 per cent over 2020 to $227.9 million, reads the report.

New construction activity was driven by the residential sector where values reached $634.8 million, comprising 81 per cent of total value.

The region saw 2,786 residential units added in the first six months of the year, representing a 51 per cent increase from 2020 and outperforming the 10-year-average by 884 units.

Growth has been particularly robust for townhomes and apartments with year-over-year increases of 227 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.

Nearly 50 per cent of all residential growth in the first half of 2021 was along the region's central transit corridor and represents the highest concentration of new homes in the light rail transit corridor since it was approved in 2011.

Non-residential construction was also strong, especially in the industrial sector.

The total value of non-residential building permits issued was slightly below the 10 year average but still 64 per cent higher than the first half of 2020, which was impacted by the pandemic.

The region says the industrial sector had its strongest start in a decade while institutional building permits have been "virtually non-existent" in 2021.