The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporations monthly statistics for housing starts were published this week and Abbotsford -Mission suffered an 87 percent drop.
Housing starts are one of the main economic indicators for the financial health and sustainability of a community as it reveals where investors are putting their money. And in Abbotsford-Mission it is not in building houses or other types of construction.
We built 17 single detached homes in February 2013 and in February of 2014 we built 18 representing an increase of six percent.
In the ‘all others’ category – which includes business, commercial, industrial and institutional – we built 102 structures in February of 2013 and in February of 2014 we built 3, representing a drop of 97 percent.
That translated to an 82 percent drop overall.
That compares to an 84 percent increase in Kelowna; a six percent increase in Vancouver and a six percent increase in the country overall.
Ever since Plan A went into effect and the costs to the City have meant that infrastructure projects began being deferred under the leadership of Councillors John Smith and Bruce Beck, Abbotsford has suffered a decade of decreasing building permits, housing starts and employment.
Adding to the financial problems of the City, George Peary’s Deal to financially back the Calgary Flames AHL affiliate Abbotsford Heat has meant an outflow of as much as $10 million a year to cover loss of owners, payment to a Philadelphia company to manage the empty arena and the interest on money borrowed to build the hockey rink late and over budget.
You can find the CMHC tables by clicking here.
For a look at Abbotsford’s economic indicators click here.