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The Rural Municipality of Hanover climbed above the five year average last year for new housing starts.

Planning Manager Jeremy Neufeld says housing activity has been trending upwards again following a sharp decline in 2015. That year, there were 70 permits issued for dwelling units. 2015 was a soft year for many municipalities in the southeast.

In 2016, the number of new housing starts climbed to 108 and then in 2017 it was 136. The five year average is about 120.

Of those 136 new housing starts, there were 31 in Kleefeld, 23 in Mitchell, 14 in Blumenort, 9 in New Bothwell and 6 in Grunthal. That means 61 percent of all residential permits last year were in Hanover's urban centres, similar to 2016. The total value for residential permits last year was $33.5 million, up from $25.6 million one year earlier.

2017 happened to be a record year for construction in terms of total building permits issued. There were 370 total permits pulled last year, which is up from 339 in 2016. The total value of all permits last year was $50.8 million, which is up from $37.5 million one year earlier.

Meanwhile, Neufeld says 2018 will be a big year from a planning perspective because the municipality will be finalizing its development plan. He notes they are close to being able to unveil it to the public and says it will allow for additional development and growth in Hanover.

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