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Permits take a hit, still up on the year

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October 10, 2017

According to the latest figures from Statistics Canada, $7.5 billion worth of building permits were issued by municipalities in August. This was down 5.5 per cent from July, and a second consecutive monthly decrease, but despite these declines, the year-to-date value of building permits (January to August) is still up 8.7 per cent compared with the same period in 2016.

Within that figure is a $3.1 billion increase in multi-family dwellings through the first eight months of the year.

In British Columbia, the value of permits for multi-family dwellings has outpaced single-family dwellings every year since 2012. So far, the multi-family component has exceeded the value of the single-family component by more than $1.6 billion this year.

In Quebec, the value for multi-family permits has led the residential sector every year since 2013. Thus far, in 2017, Quebec municipalities have issued $3.8 billion worth of multi-family permits, almost $1 billion more than the single-family component.

In contrast, the value of single-family permits in Ontario has led the residential component every year, and for year-to-date 2017, the single-family component has surpassed the multi-family component by $2.1 billion.

Within the Prairie and Atlantic regions, the value of permits for single-family dwellings continues to lead the residential sector each year. In August 2017, the value of single-family dwelling permits led the residential sector by $180.3 million in Alberta, $32.2 million in Saskatchewan and $27.7 million in Manitoba. However, for the current month, the value of multi-family permits in Nova Scotia led the residential sector by $3.3 million, bolstered by activity in the CMA of Halifax.

On the non-residential side, permits slid 10 per cent from July to August of this year, coming in at just under $2.7 billion for the month. Permits in that segment were also down $250 million from the same month one year earlier.