Special Report

2012 City Building Permits Total $1.5 Billion

Building Permit Activity in Hamilton more than doubled its 2011 total to $1.5 billion in 2012, riding on strong growth in permits across all five categories of building.

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 16, 2013

Building Permit Activity in Hamilton more than doubled its 2011 total to $1.5 billion in 2012, riding on strong growth in permits across all five categories of building: residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and miscellaneous.

Building Permits by Type, Year Over Year
Type 2011 2012
Residential $432,286,606 $659,891,156
Commercial $121,840,067 $201,894,646
Industrial $35,468,780 $208,806,065
Institutional $128,372,726 $406,642,636
Miscellaneous $13,061,110 $23,401,881
Total $731,029,289 $1,500,636,384

The 2011 total, in turn, was down sharply from 2010, which topped $1 billion in permits, a 20-year high in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Overall, residential development made up 43.97 percent of the total, down significantly from its 59.13 percent share in 2011 and its general 50 percent share of total development dollars over the past two decades.

Meanwhile, industrial permits jumped from 4.85 percent of the total in 2011 to 27.1 percent of the total in 2012.

Of special note in the 2012 results is $308 million in institutional development in October 2012, which single-handedly comprised 20 percent of the total for the year. That pushed the overall institutional share to 27.10 percent of the total, up from 17.56 percent in 2011.

2012 Monthly Building Permits Stacked Bar Chart
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2012 Building Permits by Month and Type
Year Month Residential Commercial Industrial Institutional Miscellaneous Total by Type
2012 1 $88,917,508 $9,968,400 $4,245,000 $5,249,700 $1,820,717 $110,201,325
2012 2 $59,642,148 $17,389,124 $3,144,000 $1,449,200 $1,502,932 $83,127,404
2012 3 $44,682,088 $13,437,091 $16,428,500 $2,053,100 $1,592,298 $78,193,077
2012 4 $48,845,040 $14,006,702 $3,341,200 $39,329,962 $1,903,487 $107,426,391
2012 5 $53,111,322 $5,351,449 $4,020,000 $3,814,340 $2,932,178 $69,229,289
2012 6 $50,642,936 $29,908,533 $28,553,485 $4,877,551 $1,551,341 $115,533,846
2012 7 $57,363,858 $6,634,915 $1,583,200 $2,528,670 $1,814,924 $69,925,567
2012 8 $64,698,934 $14,110,940 $87,583,700 $20,352,026 $1,849,749 $188,595,349
2012 9 $34,393,061 $27,675,582 $4,194,836 $74,587 $1,753,306 $68,091,372
2012 10 $52,729,953 $27,273,638 $12,055,094 $308,273,000 $1,692,012 $402,023,697
2012 11 $40,487,177 $9,698,100 $21,749,650 $6,705,500 $1,780,874 $80,421,301
2012 12 $64,377,131 $26,440,172 $21,907,400 $11,935,000 $3,208,063 $127,867,766
Total by Type $659,891,156 $201,894,646 $208,806,065 $406,642,636 $23,401,881 $1,500,636,384
% of Total 43.97% 13.45% 13.91% 27.10% 1.56% 100.00%

See also:

You can also view and download city building permit activity data by month and building type from January 2005 through December 2012.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:45:20

Just wait until we add $200 million more for a casino complex

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2013 at 13:35:56 in reply to Comment 85231

Plus $65 million in new high schools.



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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2013 at 13:18:51

"Of special note in the 2012 results is $308 million in institutional development in October 2012, which single-handedly comprised 20 percent of the total for the year."

Homebuilding is the new steel, but health care kicks in a decent amount too.

2012's anomalous surge (largely down to St. Joseph's Healthcare's Mountain Campus Centre, I imagine) disguises the fact that it was an above-average year, proportionately speaking, for residential. If you swap out that number for the previous record for institutional and residential pops up to a 53.5% share of activity.


2001-2011

Residential: $4,181,477,300
Commercial: $1,246,614,166
Institutional: $1,569,119,704
Industrial: $911,655,794
Miscellaneous: $86,594,152
Total: $7,995,461,116


2001-2012

Residential: $4,841,368,456
Commercial: $1,448,508,812
Institutional: $1,975,762,340
Industrial: $1,120,461,859
Miscellaneous: $109,996,033
Total: $9,496,097,500

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 16, 2013 at 13:24:10 in reply to Comment 85235

In other words, Hamilton is doing well in its goal of becoming Mississauga's Mississauga.

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2013 at 13:29:09

October was a banner month for 100 Main West.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2013 at 15:49:48

The CMHC data brings the 35% jump in residential into sharper focus.

Table 2:
Preliminary Housing Start Data in Centres 10,000 Population and Over
January-December

Hamilton

Single-Detached
2011: 1,370
2012: 1,389

All Others
2011: 1,092
2012: 1,580

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/esub/64695/64695_2013_M01.pdf

Nation-wide, single-detatched numbers dropped imperceptibly. About two-thirds of Metropolitan Areas surveyed recorded year-over-year declines in that category, while roughly a third posted gains.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2013 at 14:34:25 in reply to Comment 85239

Housing Starts January-April 2012

Hamilton
Single Detached: 434 units
Semi-Detached: 66 units
Townhouse: 249 units
Apartment: 66 units

Burlington
Single Detached: 47 units
Semi-Detached: 0 units
Townhouse: 40 units
Apartment: 338 units


http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/cmhc0508hame.jpg

“Nearly 60 per cent of the starts for the first five months of the year were of semi-detached homes, townhouses, and apartments. Most of the apartments were condominium-tenured and located in Burlington, while the highest concentration of townhouse starts was in Hamilton. The bulk of the single-detached starts were in Hamilton.”

http://www.hhhba.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/CMHC-May-2012-housing-starts.pdf

Table 1a: Housing Activity Summary of Hamilton CMA, November 2012

Starts, Year-to-date 2012

FREEHOLD
Single: 1,284
Semi: 92
Row, Apt. & Other: 572

CONDOMINIUM
Single: 4
Row & Semi: 317
Apt & Other: 380

RENTAL
Single, Semi, and Row: 78
Apt & Other: 66

TOTAL:

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/esub/64227/64227_2012_M12.pdf?lang=en

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted January 16, 2013 at 20:06:13 in reply to Comment 85239

I was going to comment on your first post that a number of the new condo projects may be reflected in the 2012 residential total.

The figures you reference here may indicate that ("all others" also includes dwelling types like duplexes and townhouses, but that's a big jump)

Comment edited by ScreamingViking on 2013-01-16 20:07:52

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2013 at 09:02:03 in reply to Comment 85244

These numbers are generally a bit vague. There's never any sense of which projects are linked to the permits (or where they are located), and no reason that a permit obtained in 2012 was acted on during that year. FWIW, Urban West, City Square and W Lofts make for around 225 units total.

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted January 17, 2013 at 12:19:40 in reply to Comment 85254

Very true.

You'd have to look at several years in a row, and try to compare that to other sources of permit information along with trying to determine when the shovels and hammers actually began shoveling and hammering (which may have to be anecdotally based)

We're still far from a "condo boom" but hopefully on an upswing that will continue.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2013 at 15:54:42 in reply to Comment 85259

CMHC stats:

Preliminary Actual Housing Start Data by Type, Jan-Dec 2012
Sub-markets within the Hamilton CMA

Hamilton
Single: 1,204
Semi: 92
Row: 805
Apt: 108

Burlington
Single: 144
Semi: 2
Row: 165
Apt: 338

Grimsby
Single: 41
Semi: 0
Row: 70
Apt: 0

Sub-markets outside the Hamilton CMA

Halton Hills
Single: 148
Semi: 0
Row: 25
Apt: 0

Milton
Single: 756
Semi: 190
Row: 1045
Apt: 152

Oakville
Single: 250
Semi: 20
Row: 346
Apt: 522

http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/cmhchamiltongraphandtables.pdf

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted January 20, 2013 at 02:41:57 in reply to Comment 85311

I was going to comment on your first post that a number of the new condo projects may be reflected in the 2012 residential total.

Or not. :-)

Thanks for the deeper look.

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2013 at 18:43:13 in reply to Comment 85259

"...almost 50,000 units under construction right now..."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/toronto-condo-market-seen-stabilizing-in-2013-cmhc/article5271277/

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted January 17, 2013 at 20:41:01 in reply to Comment 85274

I meant locally only.

Toronto is unique. Not just in Canada, but among a select few cities globally.

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By Dane (registered) | Posted January 16, 2013 at 21:50:49

Industrial and Institutional numbers are interesting. I wonder what they consist of?

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2013 at 08:40:32 in reply to Comment 85245

Institutional segment is generally public and private educational facilities (eg. schools, colleges, universities), hospitals and health care facilities, plus cultural institutions like museums and galleries as well as community centres. Largely public sector funds and non-profit orgs.

When the BoE vacated its headquarters at Main and Bay, for example, it would have spun off institutional building at the site (McMaster Downtown Health Campus) as well as the Crestwood site where the Board will relocate. But most of the bounce is probably tied to the Mountain Health Centre opposite Mohawk.

Historically, institutional makes up about a fifth of Hamilton's total building by dollar value. This year it registered slightly higher, between a quarter and a third of all activity city-wide.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2013 at 16:29:11 in reply to Comment 85253

Another in the Institutional column.

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/690570---100-million-children-s-treatment-centre-to-be-built-in-lower-city

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 17, 2013 at 05:22:57 in reply to Comment 85245

Institutional is probably things like the new HPH across from Mohawk, additions to hospitals, etc. Industrial would be exactly what it implies - I would guess things like Maple Leaf and all the new business up at the edge of the Linc would be the reasons there.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2013 at 11:19:40

Glad to see that commercial and industrial permits are up. Unlike residential and institutional, these two segments add a great deal to Hamilton's tax base without drawing as much in services. They are critical to restoring Hamilton's economy and keeping our property taxes down.

These BP numbers would not be possible without the RHVP. Where are the detractors now?

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 19:43:10

From page 14 of the latest edition of the CMHC Monthly Housing Statistics (http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/esub/61512/61512_2013_M01.pdf):

Market Absorption Survey
Average Unit Selling Prices of all Newly Completed and Unabsorbed Single-detached and Semi-detached Dwellings

Hamilton CMA

October 2011
Units: 30
Average Price $525,993

October 2012:
Units: 44
Average Price: $533,933


November 2011
Units: 30
Average Price: $532,496

November 2012
Units: 52
Average Price: $618,827


December 2011
Units: 33
Average Price: $549,030

December 2012
Units: 50
Average Price: $650,411

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted January 28, 2013 at 18:20:02

@EmmaatTheSpec
Interesting: despite a record-breaking year in building permits, only 0.8 % assessment growth in 2013. Less than previous years #HamOnt

https://mobile.twitter.com/EmmaatTheSpec/status/295918214888706049?p=p

@EmmaatTheSpec
City staff say building permit success has been muted by continued write-offs in the commercial/industrial sectors. #HamOnt

https://mobile.twitter.com/EmmaatTheSpec/status/295918888649117696?p=p

Still, it was a pretty entertaining shell game. See you again next year!

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted April 16, 2013 at 22:16:25

The greatest year-to-date appreciation in value at the end of March was a 14-per-cent increase on the southeast Mountain. The only area to experience a retreat on sale prices was the northwest Mountain, where average sale price dropped by 6.9%. Homes on the rest of the Mountain appreciated anywhere from a modest 1.4 per cent to a healthy 8.7 per cent.

http://www.hamiltonnews.com/community/hamilton-mountain/homes-on-southwest-mountain-fetching-higher-prices/

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted November 04, 2013 at 11:14:50

"Clearly low-density suburbs are unaffordable. Alternative housing types that meet child-rearing requirements and private ownership, but at densities that make supporting infrastructure affordable and public transit viable, are entirely possible and practical – and critically necessary."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/the-true-costs-of-sprawl/article15218154/

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