Canada Building Permits Report for July 2020
August 31, 2020
The total value of building permits fell 3.0% to $7.8 billion in July, entirely as a result of declines in British Columbia (-34.2% to $1.2 billion), Quebec (-15.1% to $1.5 billion) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-19.0% to $54 million). The value of permits rose in every other province and territory—led by a $474 million commercial permit issued in the city of Ottawa for the construction of the 2.7 million-square-foot Project Python, part of which will house the city’s second Amazon distribution centre.
Permits for multi-family dwellings down sharply in British Columbia and Quebec
The total value of residential permits decreased by 6.2% to $5.1 billion in July, largely because of the decline in British Columbia (-39.4%).
Following a 31.1% increase in June, the value of permits issued for multi-family dwellings in British Columbia fell by 47.8% to $542 million in July, its lowest level since the onset of the pandemic in March. In Quebec, multi-family permits declined 16.2% to $581 million, following a 13.6% increase in June.
The value of permits issued for single-family homes increased by 3.9% to $2.2 billion in July, driven by gains in Alberta (+12.6%) and Quebec (+6.3%).
Strong gains in commercial permits offset losses in industrial and institutional permits
The total value of non-residential permits rose 3.3% to $2.7 billion in July, despite declines in industrial and institutional permits.
Commercial permits increased by 29.9% to $1.6 billion in July, mainly due to the $474 million permit issued in the city of Ottawa.
The value of industrial permits declined for the second straight month, falling 15.7% to $462 million in July. The decrease was largely attributable to Quebec, down 37.1% to $170 million.
Following a 43.4% gain in June, the value of institutional permits fell 24.2% to $628 million in July. Ontario (-45.2%) and British Columbia (-50.2%) were behind most of the drop.
To explore the impact of COVID-19 on the socioeconomic landscape, visit the Canadian Economic Dashboard and COVID-19.
For more information on housing, visit the Housing statistics portal.
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