Despite Pandemic, Surrey’s 2020 Building Permit Value Exceeds 10-year Average

January 11, 2021
Economic confidence within Surrey remains strong, as the City records $1.46 billion in building permit value last year, surpassing the 10-year annual average. Residential building continues to be resilient, making up for $1.1 billion of the construction value. Industrial building permits were just shy of the record-breaking 2019 revenue, making up for $238 million of total construction.
Surrey Cityscape

“Despite a brief dip in construction when the pandemic first hit, investment rapidly bounced back, showing the confidence in Surrey as a prime destination for new business and residents,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “The Surrey SkyTrain expansion, combined with an increased demand for housing and commercial space in Surrey makes us confident these strong construction trends will continue through 2021.”

As a result of the physical distancing measures in place, the City launched an online permit application process, creating a more convenient, transparent and streamlined process for customers, while further cutting wait times.  In 2017, Single Family Dwelling permit wait times peaked at 25 weeks, and now the average is only 9 weeks. The flexibility of applying online proved to be convenient for businesses, with 35% of trade permits being initiated outside of regular business hours.  98% of electrical permits and 86% of plumbing permits were also issued online.

“The new online permit process delivers both a safe and convenient way for customers to continue to operate their businesses, while further positioning the City to handle the expected surge in construction as our city continues to rapidly grow,” said Councillor Mandeep Nagra, Chair of the Development Advisory Committee. “We are continually looking for ways to advance our services, and this step has benefitted both those applying for permits, and the operational efficiencies at the City.”

For more information, view the City of Surrey's Development Statistics webpage.