Value of Building Permits Declined 7.3% in February

Value of Building Permits - February

Apr 9, 2020

The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities decreased 7.3% to $8.6 billion in February, driven by the residential component. Declines were reported in five provinces, with the largest decrease reported in British Columbia (-39.2% to $1.3 billion). Meanwhile, Alberta reported the fourth consecutive monthly growth, up 4.2% to $1.1 billion.

Single-family permits post largest growth since October 2016

The total value of residential permits decreased 7.3% to $5.3 billion, mostly due to a significant decline in permits for multi-family dwellings. Permits for multi-family dwellings were down 18.1% to $2.8 billion, with the largest decrease originating in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Vancouver (-$841 million). The decrease in Vancouver was mainly due to an increased number of permits being issued in January to pre-empt an increase in local development fees. Excluding the CMA of Vancouver, the value of permits for multi-family dwellings rose 10.3% on a national level in February. 

The total value of permits for single-family dwellings increased 8.3% to $2.6 billion. These gains were driven by housing developments in Ontario (+$205 million), bringing the value of permits in the province to its highest level since December 2017.

Value of industrial permits down

In February, the value of non-residential permits was down 7.3% to $3.2 billion. This decrease was largely due to declines in the value of industrial permits (-25.3% to $514 million), mainly in the province of Quebec. 

The value of institutional permits declined 4.5% to $705 million. This was largely due to decreases in Alberta (-$74 million) and British Columbia (-$62 million), following strong gains in those provinces in January.

Total value of commercial permits was down 2.2% to $2.0 billion, with declines reported in six provinces.

Source: Statistics Canada,

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