A corporate report received by Surrey council on Monday, May 15 reveals residential development in the city continues to shift to multiple-family projects from single family at a significant rate.
The report, from Surrey’s general manager of finance Kam Grewal, covers the city’s finances for the first quarter of 2023. In it Grewal notes the shift is highlighted by a 38 per cent increase in new multi-family dwellings compared to a 44 per cent decrease in new single-family dwellings.
As for other development that’s not residential, Grewal reports Surrey is seeing a drop the number of permits and value of construction in industrial, commercial and institutional categories (ICI).
“Since ICI projects are high construction value in nature, even a slight change in the number of such projects could result in a substantial change in the value of construction,” Grewal notes. “Overall, in alignment with a slowdown in real estate activity, the city has seen a drop in the total value of construction in this quarter as compared to the same quarter in 2022.”
That said, Surrey saw a “significant increase” in permit fees collected during the first quarter in 2023 compared to the same period last year.
“For most development categories, with the exception of residential single-family, there is a slight time lag between the time permit fees are collected and the permits are issued. Due to this timing difference, the increased collection of permit fees in this quarter can be a leading indicator for an increase in future permitting performance and a potential increase in construction activity in the near future,” Grewal writes.
Meantime, Surrey’s investment portfolio is currently valued at $1.711 billion. “Most of these funds have either been committed to specific capital projects or are funds that have been invested until they are needed to pay current operating expenses,” Grewal notes.