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Alberta drives building permit increase: StatsCan

December 8, 2016  By StatsCan

Dec. 8, 2016 – Municipalities issued $7.6 billion worth of building permits in October, up 8.7% from September. Higher construction intentions for commercial structures and residential dwellings in Alberta were responsible for much of the gain, as builders filed permits in advance of the changes in the provincial Building Code.

The value of residential building permits rose 7.7% to $5.2 billion in October. This was the third consecutive monthly increase. Advances were posted in eight provinces, led by Alberta and followed by British Columbia and Ontario.

Construction intentions for non-residential buildings increased 10.7% to $2.5 billion in October, following a 21.4% drop in September. Gains were registered in eight provinces, led by Alberta. Quebec and Manitoba reported declines in the non-residential sector.

Residential sector: Single-family dwellings post the largest gain
The value of permits for single-family dwellings rose 7.7% to $2.8 billion in October, a third consecutive monthly increase. The advance mainly stemmed from higher construction intentions in Alberta and Ontario.


In the multi-family dwelling component, $2.3 billion worth of permits were issued in October, up 7.7% from September. This was the highest value for this component since October 2015. Seven provinces reported gains, led by Alberta and British Columbia.

Municipalities approved the construction of 19,116 new dwellings in October, up 7.9% from the previous month. The increase was led by single-family dwellings, up 11.8% to 6,819 new units. Multi-family dwellings advanced 5.9% to 12,297 new units.

Provinces: Alberta posts the largest advance
Higher construction intentions were posted in every province except Quebec in October. Alberta led the increase, followed by British Columbia and Ontario.

In Alberta, the value of building permits rose 40.4% to $1.8 billion in October. The gain stemmed from higher construction intentions for commercial buildings, single-family and multi-family dwellings. The increase in building permits in October was largely attributable to the end of the transition period for the implementation of the 2011 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings and the “Energy Efficiency” section of the 2014 Alberta Building Code.

Municipalities in British Columbia issued $1.1 billion worth of permits in October, up 7.2% from the previous month. Higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings led the advance.

In Ontario, the value of permits increased 1.9% to $3.1 billion in October, the third gain in four months. The advance was attributable to higher construction intentions for commercial buildings and single-family dwellings.

Conversely, the value of building permits in Quebec fell 6.6% to $1.1 billion in October. Every component except single-family dwellings posted a decrease. Lower construction intentions for commercial buildings led the decline, followed by institutional structures.

Higher construction intentions in half of the census metropolitan areas
In October, the total value of building permits was up in 17 of the 34 census metropolitan areas. The largest increases were in Toronto and Calgary.

The value of building permits in Toronto rose 24.9% in October to $1.8 billion. Higher construction intentions for single-family dwellings and commercial buildings were largely responsible for the gain.

In Calgary, the value of building permits increased 60.9% in October to $923 million. While every component posted gains, higher construction intentions for commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings led the advance.

In contrast, the value of building permits in Hamilton fell 56.9% in October to $110 million, following a notable gain in September. The decline was mainly attributable to lower construction intentions for multi-family and single-family dwellings.

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