Canada Building Permits: March 2017

The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities fell 5.8 per cent to $7 billion in March, marking a second consecutive monthly decrease, said Statistics Canada May 9.

Nationally, the decline was mainly the result of lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings, particularly in British Columbia and Ontario. All provinces and territories, except Ontario and Quebec, registered decreases in the total value of building permits in March.

Canada Building Permits: March 2017

Municipalities issued $4.6 billion worth of residential building permits in March, down 8.4 per cent from February, said StatsCan. A notable decrease in the multi-family component more than off-set higher construction intentions for single-family dwellings. Eight provinces reported declines in the residential sector in March, led by British Columbia and Ontario.

The value of building permits for multi-family dwellings dropped 20.9% per cent to $1.9 billion in March, falling below the $2 billion mark for the first time since July 2016. The decrease was largely attributable to lower construction intentions for apartment buildings in nine provinces. British Columbia and Ontario registered the biggest declines in the multi-family component in March, stemming from apartment buildings and, to a lesser extent, row houses. Conversely, single-family construction intentions rose 3 per cent to $2.7 billion in March, with Ontario and Alberta leading the four provinces that posted gains.

In March, Canadian municipalities approved the construction of 16,821 new dwellings (-14.7 per cent compared with February), consisting of 10,745 multi-family units (-19.4 per cent) and 6,076 single units (-4.8 per cent).

Construction intentions for residential dwellings climbed 15.8 per cent from 1Q 2016 to 1Q 2017, to $14.7 billion. On the other hand, the value of non-residential building permits fell 6.2 per cent from 1Q 2016 to 1Q 2017, to $7.4 billion, led by the commercial component and the industrial component.