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August residential permit values down despite fourth consecutive increase in single-family buildings: StatCan

October 11, 2023  By Statistics Canada

The total monthly value of building permits in Canada increased 3.4 percent in August to $11.9 billion, with strong gains in the non-residential sector offsetting modest declines in residential construction intentions. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), the total value of building permits was up 4.3 percent to $6.9 billion in August.

The total monthly value of residential permits declined 3.7% to $6.8 billion in August, led by weaker multi-unit construction intentions in Ontario (-15.8% or -$315.6 million), Manitoba (-44.9% or -$90.3 million), Quebec (-7.9% or -$57.1 million), and Nova Scotia (-27.3% or -$29.9 million).

These declines were partly offset by monthly gains in the value of single-family home permits. Across Canada, this component was up 5.5% to $2.9 billion in August, marking the fourth consecutive monthly increase for this component. This uptick follows a year of trending decline in construction intentions for single family homes from May 2022 to April 2023.

Removing the effect of changes in construction costs, on a constant dollar basis, the value of single-family home permits stood at $1.5 billion in August, still below the average monthly pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels of 2019 ($1.8 billion).

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