Townhouses under construction as part of the Emmaus Place affordable housing project in Langley Township on Nov. 13, 2019. (Langley Advance Times files)

Townhouses under construction as part of the Emmaus Place affordable housing project in Langley Township on Nov. 13, 2019. (Langley Advance Times files)

Big January boosts construction activity in Langley Township

The year-to-date construction is almost double last year’s number

Langley Township is still setting a record pace for issuing development permits in 2020, because an incredibly strong start to the year is outweighing a dip caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

January was a massive month for development permits.

The Township issued permits for $261.4 million worth of construction of all types – industrial, commercial, single-family homes, condos, and townhouses.

That was a huge increase over January 2019, when permits were issued for $37.3 million.

Permit numbers can swing wildly from month to month, as large projects can drive up the overall numbers. But January was especially big for permits in Langley for housing.

The January permits blitz saw permits issued for 995 dwelling units, 940 of them in townhouse or condo developments.

Permits dipped in February, but numbers were noticeably down in March, as the pandemic began to cause business and municipal offices to shut down or send workers home.

In March Langley Township issued permits for just $28.5 million worth of buildings of all types.

That was down from the $115.4 million worth of building permits issued in March of 2019.

It also meant the Township collected a much lower number of fees – just $107,456, down from $1,000,929 in the same month the year before.

April saw a pickup in permits, with $62.1 million issued, down from $150.4 million the year before.

May saw $20.4 million worth of building permits issued, up from $17.4 million in 2019.

Despite the slowdown in permits, the total numbers are almost double the five-year average when it comes to permits for construction in the Township. From January to May, the last month for which statistics are available, the municipality issued permits for almost $400 million worth of construction, while the five-year average is just above $200 million.

In terms of dwelling units, if every permit is utilized (some projects fail to take off and may not be built) a total of 1,284 housing units would be created from permits issued just in the first five months of 2020. Of those, 1,073 would be in townhouses and condos, and just 105 would be single-family houses. Another 92 are secondary suite permits and 14 are for mobile homes.

A full 89 per cent of housing units would be in Willoughby. In 2019, 78 per cent of all housing units were created in that neighbourhood.

READ MORE: Mayors facing explosive growth talk transit, roads in Fraser Valley

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