Kamloops Fourth Quarter of 2015 Economic Update

These articles may seen boring, but money being spent in Kamloops represents GDP growth.  That means jobs, which means people, which means higher home prices and tighter rent markets, GREAT NEWS for landlords like you and me :).

GDP-Graph2

Millions have been earmarked for Kamloops, and shovels are in the ground! As a recap 2015 we have:

Q1: $148M

Q2: $168M

Q3: $310M

Q4: Check out this list of $240M(!!!!!) spent and earmarked in the 4th quarter of 2015.

$10K – Oct 14

Grants for Senior’s Initiatives

Submissions for social planning grants can now be made by non-profit organizations in Kamloops.$10,000 is specifically designated for seniors’ initiatives in Kamloops.

$??K – Oct 21

Cheap loonie bumps up airport traffic

Traffic at the Kamloops Airport was up in September over the same month a year ago, thanks to the cheap Canadian buck. Statistics released by airport managing director Fred Legace today showed that during September this year, 24,887 people travelled through the airport compared to 23,249 last year, an increase of 6.2 per cent. Total travellers for the year so far total 238,690, compared to 232,919 for an increase fo 2.5 per cent. (supports over 800 jobs)

$30M – Oct 21

Kamloops council alters policy to help development

For a $30-million development it hopes will bring 200 or more high-tech jobs to town, Kamloops city council is making an exception to a policy meant to protect the downtown area.

$??M – Oct 26

House Sales Expected to Increase in Kamloops

The housing market in Kamloops is expected to remain stable over the next two years, according to a forecast by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Housing sales for Kamloops are expected to be up to 1,750 in 2015, and will increase to 1,780 in 2016 and 1,800 in 2017. The average price of a home in the Tournament Capital is not expected to greatly increase. The price is expected to be $404,000 in 2015, increasing to $420,000 in 2017. The vacancy rate of homes in Kamloops is expected to remain steady as well. It is forecasted to be a 3.7 vacancy rate in 2015, down from 3.9 in 2014, and is expected to return to 3.9 in 2016. The vacancy rate in Kamloops is, and is forecast to continue to be, above the national average. Housing starts are anticipated to slightly decrease going from 518 new homes under construction in 2014 down to 470 in 2017. The new construction to date in 2015 is 9.2 per cent less than it was at this date in 2014 in Kamloops.

$27M – Oct 27

BC Hydro to Build New $49 Million Substation in Kamloops

“Over the next 20 years, the population of the city is expected to grow by 25 per cent,” said Mayor Peter Milobar. “Much of this growth will be in the southwest area of Kamloops and we’ve been working closely with BC Hydro to identify a site for the new substation to ensure the electrical needs of the region are met.” Construction of the new substation is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2016, and expected to be in service in 2018. The cost is estimated at $49 million. BC Hydro is working on a design and will host a public information session later this year.

$10M – Oct 28

Oil pipeline summit in Kamloops hears promises and warnings

Whispering Pines Indian Band is the first along the route to reach a deal with Kinder Morgan Chief Mike Lebourdais confirmed that agreement is worth between $10 and $20 million over 20 years, with benefits going to elder pensions and youth programs for the small band, located north of Kamloops between Vinsulla and McLure.

$10M – Oct 28

Sandman Centre deal has street presence

A new coliseum sign, symbolizing the crowning moment in a 10-year, $10.2-million deal between the Sandman Hotel Group, Kamloops Blazers and the City, was installed Wednesday.

$XXM – Oct 30

30,000 jobs in next 10 years

A new labour market study shows the Kamloops region will have a high demand for new workers over the next decade. Further reading here, here, and here.

$XXM – Nov 2

TRU eyes engineering program as long-term goal

A new labour-market report released by Venture Kamloops called for an engineering program due to the large number of major resource projects on the books. It forecasts a shortage of engineers in the region. “We don’t know how quickly we’ll move to a four-year program but we’re moving in that direction,” he said, calling establishment of a school “in the exploratory stage.” In 2013, about 100 students applied to the program and its 60 seats. For the most recent year, there were 185 applications. “There’s three times as many applications as we have seats designated,” Dickinson said. “I think we’ll have to review how many seats we make available for the first year.”

$xxM – Nov 3

Sales of Kamloops homes up 15% from 2014

Sales of residential units in Kamloops were down in October, a slip in what has otherwise been a year of double-digit sales increases. The number of homes sold last month, at 202, is down about five per cent from the same month in 2014. Sales in the city are up by 15 per cent through the first 10 months of the year. The median price for a single-family home in Kamloops came in at $367,000. Cyndi Crossley, president of Kamloops & District Real Estate Association, said one trend that will affect both buyers and sellers is a decline in inventory. Residential listings on MLS are nearly 10 per cent lower than a year ago. She said other markets, including Chilliwack, are experiencing the same decline in listings — a factor that can lead to increasing prices and a so-called sellers’ market. Another notable aspect for the month was sale of 10 units valued at more than $600,000. “That’s not what the Kamloops market is typically made of,” she said. “That should be encouraging for those with higher-priced homes.” The busiest slice of the market is in the $320,000 to $360,000 range.

$XXM – Nov 6

Highland Valley layoffs blamed on copper prices

Highland Valley Copper employees, management, union and nonunion contractors, are taking a hit with job losses due to low copper prices. Teck Resources will lay off six percent of the mine’s workforce — cutting as many as 80 jobs — over the course of the next year. Copper prices have fallen by about a dollar since this time last year. “We’ve definitely been taking steps to reduce the costs we have here,” said Jacqui Schneider, community affairs officer. “We’ve reviewed all the steps we can take. Part of that will be reducing the workforce through restructuring.” Schneider said the restructuring is folded into overall plans for the mine, which is projected to continue operating until 2026. Current production levels will be maintained.

$1.1M – Nov 9

Kamloops Schools Receive $1.1 Million for Upgrades

The provincial government is funding routine capital projects for four schools in Kamloops. The four schools will receive more than $1.1 million for improvements that will help provide healthy, safe, and modern learning environments.

$300M – Nov 10

RIH head vows tower will rise

There is no doubt in Carol Laberge’s mind a new surgical tower will be built at Royal Inland Hospital. “It’s not if, it’s when,” the RIH administrator told a recent Kamloops Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting. “We are getting this tower.” Conceptual drawings have already been done and plans are to build it on the east side of the hospital. Earlier this year, Lake said he anticipates receiving the plan by the end of next year, with construction by 2020. While much of the presentation was on programs and statistics, Laberge also talked about the chimes heard often throughout RIH. Every time a baby is born in the hospital, the chimes are rung.

$37K – Nov 10

Emergency Shelter Funding on the Way for Kamloops

The provincial government will be doing more this winter to protect the homeless during extreme weather alerts.  In Kamloops, funding will support 28 new spaces at Emerald Centre which is run by the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Kamloops Branch.

$75K – Nov 10

$75K to help Kamloops Brain Injury Association

Health Minister Terry Lake and Transportation Minister Todd Stone brought an oversized cheque to the Victoria Street office, representative of the $75,000 the provincial government is giving the KBIA to upgrade its old computer server and client base and help offset the costs of providing client services. Both politicians praised the work done by the KBIA.

$XXK – Nov 13

Kamloops Airport Traffic on the Rise

Traffic at the Kamloops airport is on the rise. According to the latest numbers released on Friday, the month of October saw a five per cent increase compared to the same time last year. Overall, this year has seen a 2.7 per cent increase at the Kamloops Airport accounting for over 7,000 more passengers. The increase is being attributed to the low Canadian dollar compared to the United States. Aircraft movements, which account for cargo flights operating for package delivery companies, were down slightly by one per cent.

$1M – Nov 17

Kamloops Sewage Treatment Centre to Receive Nearly $1 Million Upgrade

Kamloops City Council approved a contract to upgrade the dike and roadway at the Kamloops Sewage Treatment Centre. The contract was awarded to Brentwood Enterprises for $880,501 plus a $90,000 contingency fund for any unforeseen conditions associated with the construction effort.

$90K – Nov 26

Kamloops Artists Receive Over $90,000 in Provincial Funding

A total of seven individuals and organizations received just under $100,000, including the Kamloops Arts Council, Kamloops Art Gallery, and Western Canada Theatre. The funding was provided through the B.C. Arts Council to support and enhance local arts and culture.

$1M – Dec 1

Cost of renovations at new community policing office in Kamloops surpass $1M

KAMLOOPS – The costs of the new North Shore policing office have skyrocketed because of ‘unforeseen conditions’. Located near the corner of Seventh Street and Brentwood Avenue on the North Shore, 2013 estimates put the cost of renovating the former Kia dealership to become the new North Shore community policing office at $600,000. The project is now expected to cost more than $1 million.

$165M -Dec 2

City of Kamloops’ permit value stable in 2015

Residential-unit numbers were on the rise this year, with permits issued for 426 units of housing  to date, compared to 404 units at this time last year. Residential-permit value is up as well, at $109 million for the year to date in 2015, compared to $102 million at this point in 2014. Kwiatkowski said he’s not expecting any other major, high-dollar-figure project permits to be issued this year, but he does expect more large residential projects on the list next year, including a 51-unit project proposed for 941 Seventh Street.

$250K – Dec 3

$250,000 to TRU for reclamation science

The Thompson Rivers University professor sees a $250,000 grant TRU will receive from Genome B.C. as a key element in creating a school on campus dedicated to reclamation science.

$XXM – Dec 5

Kamloops home sales spike in November

The city’s residential real-estate sales in November jumped by 30 per cent in an increasingly active market that is coinciding with declining inventory. The Kamloops & District Real Estate Association recorded 190 sales through MLS in November, up 31 per cent from the same month last year. Association president Cyndi Crossley called the November increase “huge, especially when we have a declining inventory.” The number of homes on the market — about 1,500 — is down 15 per cent from November 2014. That is tilting the market in favour of sellers, who have less competition in the marketplace. The median price for a single-family home neared the $400,000 mark in November, but that is influenced by a large number of homes selling for more than $600,000. Crossley said the median value is one of the highest on record for Kamloops.

$500K – Dec 10

New sweepers make airport more reliable

Two new runway sweepers worth more than half a million dollars will increase the reliability of Kamloops Airport, says managing director Fred Legace.

$xxK – Dec 10

Monthly Travellers to the Kamloops Airport Continue to Rise

The Kamloops Airport saw a rise in monthly travellers ahead of the busy holiday season. For the month of November, the airport saw an increase of nearly five per cent when compared to the same time last year. To date, the Kamloops Airport has seen a nearly three per cent increase in traffic. The increase, over the last few months, has been attributed to the lower Canadian dollar.

$120K – Dec 10

$120,000 to Support Animal Welfare

Kamloops Wildlife Park Society received a generous sum of funding as part of the latest round of environment gaming grants. A total of $120,000 has been given to the wildlife park to support animal welfare and preservation.Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Peter Fassbender made the announcement Tuesday.

So there you have it. I spent over 4 hours combing the hundreds of local news new stories for the past 3 months proving to myself prices and rental demand will continue to rise. I had a feeling this was the case due to unbelievably fast vacancy turnover, but now you’ve seen the facts that back it up. Hope you benefited from the shortcut I gave you!

Until next time,

Stay S.A.F.E.