The Rural Municipality of Hanover saw construction activity dip in 2022. But that is because 2022 is being compared to 2021, which ended up being the year of records for Hanover.

Planning Manager Jeremy Neufeld says in 2021 they broke pretty well every record possible for construction. That year, Hanover issued 489 total permits, worth more than $101 million.

Neufeld says they got off to a good start in 2022 before things started to fizzle in June. For the year, they issued a total of 371 permits, worth more than $67 million. He notes the totals for 2022 line up with their five-year average.

On the residential side, Hanover issued 119 permits, worth more than $41 million. That compares to 174 residential permits, worth more than $68 million the previous year.

Neufeld says there are a few factors that probably led to the slowdown in the second half of last year. For starters, he says inflation was probably a culprit as well as rising interest rates.

Another factor is a lack of available lots. Neufeld anticipates that could soon change.

"We've got a number of developments in each of our communities that we're anticipating being ready to go for new development this coming year," he says. "So once those lots become available, I think we'll have a bit of a better picture as to where we stand."

In breaking down the number of new housing starts per community, Mitchell has regained top spot in the municipality. There were 36 new housing starts last year in Mitchell, 34 in Kleefeld, 26 in New Bothwell, 17 in the rural area and six in Blumenort. Grunthal saw no new homes go up last year. 

"The big surprise was in New Bothwell, which traditionally has been a bit of a quieter one, it being a smaller community," explains Neufeld. "As far as memory serves, it's probably the best year Bothwell has had."

As for Grunthal, Neufeld says a large residential development is ready to get going there. He notes they are just waiting on some pumps for their lift station before construction can commence. 

Meanwhile, when comparing growth rates in the five main communities of Hanover, Neufeld says New Bothwell led the way in 2022 with 10.1 per cent growth rate, followed by Kleefeld at 8.4 per cent, Mitchell at 7.4 per cent and Blumenort at 2.9 per cent. The growth rate for all of Hanover in 2022 was 2.7 per cent.