PEI

Builders planning as far out as 2021 as construction on P.E.I. soars

There's good news for Prince Edward Islanders looking for a place to live — and looking for a job — in numbers released Monday morning by Statistics Canada.

Total investment for July was $91.6 million

New residential buildings are badly needed on P.E.I. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

There's good news for Prince Edward Islanders looking for a place to live — and looking for a job — in numbers released Monday morning by Statistics Canada.

The report on building investment, including numbers to the end of July, shows that after declining numbers early in the year, growth was dramatic this summer. For the year to date, investment is up 37 per cent.

For the month of July, investment reached $91.6 million.

"There's no better time to either be in construction or getting into construction," said Sam Sanderson, general manager of the Construction Association of P.E.I.

Growth was strongest in investment in new multiple-dwelling buildings, with a year-to-date growth of 154 per cent. Those new apartments will be welcome for Islanders suffering in the current housing crisis.

Investment reached nearly $19 million in July.

Investment in new industrial buildings is also up significantly.

In May 2018, investment in new industrial buildings fell below a million dollars. In July it passed $4 million. For the year to date, investment is up 86 per cent.

Sanderson said the industry is able to keep up with the growth, but it has meant sometimes people have to wait.

"Many contractors, they're planning now for projects down the road," he said.

"They're planning for 2020 even a few into 2021."

The damage from post-tropical storm Dorian has put further stress on an industry already working at capacity.

Sanderson said some contractors are working evenings and weekends to repair damage, so they don't fall behind on new construction.

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About the Author

Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. You can reach him at kevin.yarr@cbc.ca.

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