Economy

2011 City Building Permits Total $731 Million

By RTH Staff
Published January 10, 2012

The year-end city building permit activity numbers are out for Hamilton, and we ended last year with a total of $731 million in building permit activity.

Of that total, $432 million or 59 percent was for residential developments, with $122 million or 17 percent percent for commercial, $35 million or 5 percent for industrial, $128 million or 18 percent for institutional, and the remainder of $13 million or around 2 percent for other miscellaneous development.

Building Activity By Month and Type, 2011
Month Residential Commercial Industrial Institutional Miscellaneous Total
Jan $49,574,946 $3,521,310 $1,433,890 $4,013,000 $197,600 $58,740,746
Feb $16,935,560 $7,102,100 $5,622,000 $3,205,508 $638,195 $33,503,363
Mar $16,984,321 $11,179,900 $1,985,359 $30,595,899 $629,861 $61,375,340
Apr $32,196,589 $4,605,400 $2,204,450 $19,221,900 $2,813,900 $61,042,239
May $51,612,636 $7,080,750 $5,884,500 $2,048,000 $1,070,550 $67,696,436
Jun $38,405,090 $7,816,495 $1,519,165 $7,206,600 $894,217 $55,841,567
Jul $33,916,921 $5,733,300 $1,763,400 $5,149,236 $1,155,326 $47,718,183
Aug $60,357,485 $34,705,564 $5,255,537 $39,100,583 $1,095,683 $140,514,852
Sep $29,521,010 $17,124,531 $3,057,260 $13,152,000 $1,017,486 $63,872,287
Oct $32,267,561 $7,720,617 $3,406,483 $880,000 $1,237,907 $45,512,568
Nov $40,347,272 $4,806,200 $2,511,736 $3,050,000 $1,496,367 $52,211,575
Dec $30,167,215 $10,443,900 $825,000 $750,000 $814,018 $43,000,133
Total $432,286,606 $121,840,067 $35,468,780 $128,372,726 $13,061,110 $731,029,289
% of Total 59.13% 16.67% 4.85% 17.56% 1.79% 100.00%

The 2011 total is much lower than the 2010 total of just over a billion dollars, a 20-year record in real, inflation-adjusted dollars.

27 Comments

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted January 10, 2012 at 23:40:28

Did my own "back of envelope" inflation adjustments to the historical table you linked to, which looked like it was probably in nominal dollars (simply assumed a 2.5% rate). If not, what I've written below is bunkum.

Overall, not a great year, similar to 2009 in terms of total value.

Industrial is way down, well below the real average from 2001-2010 and about half the previous worst year of 2004. I would think continued economic uncertainty is the biggest reason for that. But 2012 will massively benefit from the Maple Leaf plant (and perhaps more, as noted in The Spec today about the "unidentified company" in the ML supply chain that the city is wooing)

Institutional permits are still quite high, a trend of the last 3 years that also applies to Miscellaneous (which is where the new stadium will probably fit this year?). Residential, while down, is still about average, as is commercial.

One important thing to note - from the historical data there is a huge jump between 2000 and 2001 which I would bet is due to amalgamation. Prior to that, the city numbers probably reflect the old City of Hamilton alone.

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By Bare Bodkin (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2012 at 08:55:51 in reply to Comment 72953

Filtering the 1991-2010 table through the BoC inflation Calculator, I arrived at the following (expressed in 2011 dollars):

TOTAL ACTIVITY

2010 @ $1,127,982,135
2008 @ $867,242,812
2007 @ $866,177,584
2002 @ $791,288,993
2003 @ $779,069,306
2006 @ $755,648,685
2011 @ $731,029,289
2009 @ $726,676,304
2005 @ $719,451,440
2004 @ $681,406,372
2001 @ $515,321,064


RESIDENTIAL BUILDING ACTIVITY

2010 @ $607,973,358
2006 @ $450,057,193
2008 @ $440,190,225
2004 @ $435,403,818
2011 @ $432,286,606
2007 @ $427,120,430
2005 @ $421,124,939
2002 @ $420,171,948
2001 @ $357,743,525
2003 @ $307,472,297
2009 @ $296,137,291


COMMERCIAL BUILDING ACTIVITY

2009 @ $204,291,577
2010 @ $168,360,358
2008 @ $147,513,258
2007 @ $136,553,744
2002 @ $128,285,141
2011 @ $121,840,067
2006 @ $120,244,533
2005 @ $88,777,922
2001 @ $88,485,295
2004 @ $86,251,767
2003 @ $69,082,601

INSTITUTIONAL BUILDING ACTIVITY

2003 @ $296,216,446
2007 @ $227,108,421
2008 @ $214,620,872
2010 @ $193,677,130
2002 @ $179,243,052
2011 @ $128,372,726
2001 @ $121,069,083
2005 @ $119,732,145
2006 @ $95,021,421
2009 @ $90,096,723
2004 @ $69,818,591


INDUSTRIAL BUILDING ACTIVITY

2010 @ $143,789,120
2009 @ $120,734,447
2003 @ $102,340,675
2004 @ $85,256,966
2005 @ $81,350,786
2006 @ $80,006,526
2001 @ $68,708,738
2007 @ $68,428,927
2001 @ $60,731,192
2008 @ $56,262,476
2011 @ $35,468,780

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By Lingo (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 11:57:02 in reply to Comment 72953

"Overall, not a great year, similar to 2009 in terms of total value."

Also similar to 2006 in the way the activity is portioned out.

"One important thing to note - from the historical data there is a huge jump between 2000 and 2001 which I would bet is due to amalgamation."

... and institutional spending goes off the deep end at that point, relative to spending in other columns.

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 19:46:03 in reply to Comment 72968

Institutional did seem to go up a bit, but it was the residential that pretty much tripled (understandably, if the old suburbs are included). We saw a lot of money going toward new schools and hospital expansions post 2001 though.

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By Lingo (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 12:38:06 in reply to Comment 72982

TOTAL:
1991-2000: $1,661,597,103
2001-2010: $7,171,527,881
Approx. 400% growth

INSTITUTIONAL:
1991-2000: $291,014,893
2001-2010: $1,440,746,978
Approx. 500% growth

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 22:00:54 in reply to Comment 72998

Hate to pick on this, but I appreciate good math. Good math often leads to good points of discussion.

Four things:

  1. You need to compare the real values (i.e. inflation adjusted), not the nominal or "current year" dollars. By doing so, total Institutional for those two periods has grown a bit more than 120% (a little more than double) with over 230% growth in total permit value (more than triple)

  2. You're still ignoring the amalgamation issue - we'd really have to compare the old Hamilton-Wentworth total to the post-2001 totals. The population comparisons below are not meaningful for that very reason (the 2000 to 2001 jump wasn't growth, it's the way it was totaled). The figures I presented in the first point are not valid because they're not comparing region to city either.

  3. Even just using the raw numbers, check your math - your institutional totals don't seem right (1991-2000 was $281 million, 2001-2010 was $783 million, both in current dollars... looked at it again and you actually totaled the Industrial figures by mistake). And even using your numbers it should be 332% vs. 395% growth.

  4. (most importantly) I'm sorry but I'm really not sure what your point is. That Hamilton entities have been overspending on institutional projects over the last decade? If so, based on what? Who's to say there wasn't a long period of under-spending on institutional buildings during the 1990s? (hospitals especially, some schools) Consider too that McMaster especially has developed a lot of new property, not so much because it had a "deficit", but because it has expanded its programs and developed new ventures (e.g. the research park).

I would really like to see the corresponding H-W region figures over the 90s for a proper comparison between the "old" city and the "new". I suspect some of the categories really haven't changed a whole lot, when you account for inflation.

Comment edited by ScreamingViking on 2012-01-12 22:21:28

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By Lingo (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 22:41:56 in reply to Comment 73011

Meaningless fun on the back of a napkin. Hamilton is a well-run shop.Everyone knows that.

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By Lingo (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 13:02:44 in reply to Comment 72998

Correction!

HAMILTON POPULATION
1990: 307,160
2000: 331,120
2001: 490,270
2006: 504,559

2000 vs 2006: Approx. 134% growth

http://goo.gl/Taq4D
http://goo.gl/gSelP

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By Lingo (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 12:53:02 in reply to Comment 72998

HAMILTON POPULATION
2001: 331,120
2006: 504,559
Approx. 34% growth

http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/PlanningEcDev/Divisions/StrategicServicesSpecialProjects/GISPlanningAnalysis/FactsandFigures.htm

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 08:33:28 in reply to Comment 72953

For what the Stadium is going to fir »? no were its from the citys budget .. what re they going to do pay them self tax money i don`t think so .. lol

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 19:47:20 in reply to Comment 72957

Still need a building permit. Yes, the stadium will generate no property tax, but this isn't about assessment.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2012 at 00:23:31

Just came across an interesting and somewhat-related statistical correlation between new developments and the economy...skyscrapers tend to foretell economic doom.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16494...

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 14:58:22 in reply to Comment 72954

Perhaps the opposite might be true? In that case Hamilton is in for a massive economic expansion :)

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By GO GO (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 10:50:37

On another note....anyone want to buy a school?

Scott Park School is up for sale. http://valeriepeebles.com/new-commercial-listing-1055-king-street-e-hamilton/

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By Frankenrogers (registered) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 15:09:04 in reply to Comment 72963

I went to Scott Park 89-93. It is a shame that it isn't used. We had a pool, a rink, Brian Timmins for soccer and played football at Ivor Wynne for gym class. The auditorium sat probably 2,000 and was specially made for plays and speakers with great acoustics. You could make it a specialty athletics school or arts school for drama.

It is filled with asbestos though so I don't know how that would affect things.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 15:04:23 in reply to Comment 72963

This might be a good location for the CFL hall of fame being close to the stadium. Alas, the price tag seems too rich.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 11:02:55 in reply to Comment 72963

Ummm, maybe the school board? Instead of spending $32 million on a 117,000 sq foot building in a location tough to access for many 'code red' residents.

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By Lingo (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 11:49:17

Would be eedifying to get a sense of where that $432 million in residential development took place. My suspicion is that most of it is outside Wards 1-5.

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By dwntwninvstr (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 18:06:46 in reply to Comment 72967

Lingo- The bulk of the residential development I suspect would be in Waterdown. There was a large subdivision constructed there last year and another one is in the works along Parkside Dr. toward Highway 6. More suburban sprawl I'm afraid. This is ward 15. What used to be a quiet little town with its own unique history and identity is looking more like Mississauga every day.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2012 at 12:19:21 in reply to Comment 72967

I've been asking for a couple of years now for the data to be provided in an accessible manner so we can actually access and plot where the permits are going.

Planning and Economic Development are in the process of developing an open data policy, but in the meantime, they provide it in inaccessible, read-only PDF format.

I manually copy the monthly summaries by type into a database, but it would be prohibitively time-consuming to do this on a by-permit basis - especially when it would be so easy for EcDev to provide it in a more accessible format.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 15:01:45

A down year indeed. However Hamilton has improved substantially the last few years or so in this area, especially commercial and industrial.

I still say that Hamilton has too much residential, way too much institutional, and not enough comm/industrial growth. The last two classes are the ones that pay the taxes and create the wealth.

It wouldn't surprise me if institutional permits drop substantially going forward with all the talk about government cuts.

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By Sigma Cub (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 15:41:04 in reply to Comment 72975

There's a $65 million project in the wings.

http://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/story.cfm?id=8082

Nice photo op. We'll see if the campaign pledge holds up. After all, $66 million in ORF commitments are already getting repurposed...

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Hospitals+universities+slam+research+cuts/5977244/story.html

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By amalgamation (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 18:10:07

lingo seems to be ignoring the jump from 330,000 t0 490,000 upon amalgamation and the idea growth of 160,000 from year to year never happened. Not sure what his point was but its invalid at any rate

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By Lingo (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 20:56:50 in reply to Comment 73008

At least we're clear that you don't understand what you're judging to be invalid. ;)

I buggered up my population tally, so let me run that again in the name of pointlessness. ;)

POST vs PRE
Value of residential activity tripled
Value of institutional activity quintupled
Total value of decade's activity quadrupled
City's population has yet to double

On one hand, a study of growth relative to sector. On the other, a snapshot of public spending relative to civic population. Whether any of these numbers really means anything is in the eye of the beholder. ;)

FWIW, I don't really understand any of it. :o


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By Lingo (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 22:45:13

And in case you missed it ;)

"Whether any of these numbers really means anything is in the eye of the beholder. ;)

FWIW, I don't really understand any of it. :o"

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By Lingo (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 22:48:25

Also, please, let's have good math. And itemized breakdowns and copious footnotes. Because on their own, these tables tell us little to nothing.

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By Chevron (anonymous) | Posted February 11, 2012 at 17:01:04

"The total value of permits was up in 17 of Canada's 34 census metropolitan areas."

Among the burgeoning CMAs: Barrie (up 762.7%), Peterborough (up 557.6%), Oshawa (up 208.8%), Calgary (up 115.1%), Halifax (up 93.4%) and Toronto posted (up 23.7%) between Dec 2010 to Dec 2011.

Hamilton was not one. The CMA posted a 25.3% drop in building permits in the same period.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/120207/t120207a3-eng.htm

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