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Building Permits Up 8.6% in March

Earlier this month, Statistics Canada revealed that there was $6.5-billion in building permits issued in March, equating to a 8.6% growth from the previous month. This marks the third consecutive month building permit values have risen, and once again the non-residential sector is responsible for the bulk of the gain.

Total value of permits (Stats Can.)


Non-Residential Building Permits

On a national level, Ontario was among the leaders for non-residential building permit growth in March. In total, permits increased 19% to 2.8-billion, continuing an upward trend for the second consecutive month. Whether or not this growth can be sustained will rely on Quebec and Manitoba’s rate of bounceback – currently, these provinces are victims of large decreases in this sector.


Institutional permits shot up to $980-million in March, adding to a 28.1% increase in February. The significance of this rise can be attributed to an abundance of construction permits given to government buildings in Albert as well as medical and educational buildings in Ontario.


Seven provinces experienced gains in the industrial component of the non-residential sector, rising by 17.2% to $472-million.


This is the one non-residential component at a loss in March, down 9.6% from the 14.4% advance in February. In saying this, Canadian municipalities issued $1.4-billion worth of commercial building permits in March, which is practically a third of what the residential sector yielded. Once again, Ontario reported the largest gain in the commercial component due to a high level of hotel, office space, and warehouse planning.


Residential Building Permits

Despite an 8.1% decrease in February, the value of building permits in the residential sector rose to $3.6-billion (+1.7%) in March. Similar to the non-residential sector, Quebec faced the largest decline. Luckily, seven Canadian provinces compensated for these losses. In the month of March, 14,558 new dwellings were reported to be in the process of being built, which is 4.3% hirer than the month prior.

Multi-Family Dwellings

In February, the value of multi-family dwelling building permits dropped 20.5%. In comparison, the values rose 13.4% in March, bringing the total to $1.4-billion. In terms of construction, 8,321 units were reported to be under construction.

Single-Family Dwellings

In four of the past six months, building permits for single-family dwellings have dropped. In March, building permit values saw a 4.7% reduction, as a result of six provinces in decline. Similarly, only 6,237 units were reported to be under construction  which is 4.3% lower than in February.


The Value of Building Permits as a Whole

Overall, building permits values were up in six provinces. At the top of the ranks, Ontario leads with large plans for institutional and commercial construction. Alberta, another steadfast province, also increased both in institutional intent and plans to extended multi-family dwellings. Of the 34 census metropolitan areas, 16 reported an increase in building permit values – Toronto and Edmonton in front of the rest.

Residential and non-residential sectors (Stats Can.)


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