July 18, 2022
The total value of building permits in Canada rose 2.3% in May to $12.1 billion. The non-residential sector increased 7.0% to $4.3 billion, while the residential sector edged down 0.1% to $7.8 billion.
On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), the total value of building permits increased 1.8% to $7.7 billion.
Multi and single residential construction diverges
Residential permits edged down 0.1% to $7.8 billion in May. Increases in Ontario and British Columbia were offset by losses in seven other provinces.
Construction intentions in the multi-family component decreased 5.9% in May, with Quebec returning to more normal levels. Conversely, British Columbia saw a 10.1% increase in part due to a $112 million permit for a condo building in Surrey.
Single-family homes have continued their comeback since the COVID-19 pandemic downturn and longer-term secular decline, increasing 7.0% in total value nationally this month.
Overall, the number of new units created decreased 3.4% compared with April. The decline in the multi-family component (-6.4%) was partially offset by the increase in the single-family home component (+5.4%).
British Columbia pushes up non-residential sector
The total value of non-residential sector permits increased 7.0% to $4.3 billion in May. Gains in the commercial and institutional sectors outweighed losses in the industrial component, which declined 6.1%.
Commercial permit values increased sharply by 15.6% in May, driven by British Columbia with an overall increase of 73.8% for the month.
Construction intentions in the institutional component rose 4.3% in May. Gains were led by British Columbia (+54.9%), reflecting an $82 million permit for a hospital in Fort St. James. New Brunswick also saw notable gains due to permits for a police station and a school in Moncton. Conversely, gains were largely countered by decreases in Quebec (-20.2%) and Ontario (-8.1%).