The City of Prince George is seeing “a bit of a lull” in the number of building permits issued so far this year, compared to the past two years, city director of planning and development Deanna Wasnik says.

As of the end of April, the city had issued a total of 87 building permits worth a combined $53.1 million. During the same four months in 2022, the city issued 138 permits worth a combined $88.2 million. And from Jan. 1 to April 30, 2021, the city issued 149 permits worth a combined $51 million.

Wasnik said several rezonings and other land use requests being processed by the city, including those considered by city council last week, suggest that plans for new housing and commercial/industrial projects are in the works.

The biggest decline has been in new housing starts. As of April 30, the city had issued 13 permits for single-family houses (down from 34 in 2022), four permits for multi-family developments (down from nine in 2022), nine permits for duplexes (up from five in 2022) and no permits for new mobile homes (down from six in 2022).

Rising costs of building materials and shortages of skilled labour may also be playing a factor, she added.

“At first blush, it could be pretty pessimistic,” Coun. Garth Frizzell said. “Given (what’s happening in the economy)… the last thing you would expect would be losing steam right now. I’m going to be very eager to see where May’s numbers are at.”

Coun. Cori Ramsay said multiple economists are predicting Canada may face a recession this year.

“This may continue, realistically,” Ramsay said.

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