The RPGA Planning District is reporting a surge in building permit values to start the year.
Values for the first six months in the Municipality of Rhineland are up 75 percent over the same period last year, ringing in at $13.8 million.
The Town of Altona is sitting at 56 percent with permits valued at $5.6 million so far. 

"We're seeing quite a surge in the values of the permits. I believe that's partially due to inflation, however, building permit numbers are still very good," said Community Development Officer Susan Stein.

So far this year there have been 19 new housing starts in the Municipality of Rhineland, and 14 new starts in Altona. 

On the commercial side, values which also include farm buildings, have already met last year's total in Rhineland coming in at $7 million.

Commercial values in Altona sit at $740,000. "There are projects that are coming in but they haven’t been approved yet, so I expect that number to increase," added Stein.

While inflation has contributed, in part, to the higher permit values, Stein says to her, the figures indicate very good economic growth in the area with people wanting to invest.

"Even with inflation we're still seeing a lot of development in housing and commercial picking up, and there's still a lot of talk. We have a lot of subdivisions coming through, we're expecting a lot more building. There's a lot of interest in purchasing rural (land) for housing," she added. "People want to live a little more rural lives and so, we're starting to see that as well."

As for the rest of the year, Stein expects the momentum to continue.