BC Development Fee Change Propels Building Permits in April

Economy Building Permits

June 13, 2019

Canadian municipalities issued a record $9.3 billion worth of building permits in April. The increase in the value of permits was almost entirely due to a planned change in development costs in Metro Vancouver.

Change in development costs drives increase

Nationally, the value of permits was up $1.2 billion in April, the largest increase since May 2007. Although six provinces reported higher values, British Columbia accounted for most of the gain. This was due to permits being issued ahead of the development cost increase in Metro Vancouver in May, the first change in costs in that region since 1997. Meanwhile, Quebec reported the largest decline, down $147 million from March.

Multi-family dwellings in British Columbia boost residential permit values

In the residential sector, the value of permits rose 24.5% to $5.9 billion in April.

Municipalities in British Columbia issued $2.2 billion worth of residential permits, almost doubling the previous record set in June 2018. The provincial increase was driven by multi-family dwelling permits issued in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Vancouver (+$880 million).

The value of single-family dwelling permits was up 5.1% to $2.2 billion, led by Ontario (+$67 million).

Industrial permits in Ontario surpass half-billion dollar mark for first time

Nationally, the value of non-residential building permits rose 1.1% from March to $3.4 billion in April, as higher construction intentions for industrial buildings were reported in nine provinces. The gain was largely due to the issuance of a high value permit for a food processing plant in the CMA of London.

Meanwhile, the value of permits declined for both the institutional and commercial components in April. This followed strong numbers in the previous month, when multiple high-value permits were issued in Quebec and British Columbia.

Source: Statistics Canada, https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/190610/dq190610a-eng.htm

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