StatsCan building permits report: March 2019
May 23, 2019 – Canadian municipalities issued $8.1 billion worth of building permits in March, up 2.1% from February. The increase was attributable to higher construction intentions in Western Canada.
Four provinces reported increases in March, led by British Columbia with an increase of 12.8% (+$180 million). Meanwhile, all provinces east of Manitoba reported declines. The largest decrease was in Ontario, down 1.4% (-$43 million) due to lower construction intentions in the residential sector.
The value of single-family permits declines in the residential sector
Municipalities issued $4.8 billion worth of residential permits in March, down 1.5% from February. The decline was largely attributable to lower construction intentions in Ontario (-$102 million) and Quebec (-$99 million).
The value of single-family dwelling permits was down 5.0% (-$108 million) from the previous month. Seven provinces reported declines, with the largest decrease in Ontario (-$58 million).
Meanwhile, the value of multi-family dwelling permits increased 1.3% (+$37 million) in March. Six provinces posted increases, led by Manitoba and British Columbia.
First quarter 2019: Permits down sharply in Alberta year over year
Municipalities issued $24.3 billion worth of permits in the first quarter, down 3.5% (-$877 million) compared with the same quarter last year. Five provinces posted declines, with the majority of the decrease coming from Alberta (-$1.0 billion).
Every component was down in Alberta in the first quarter compared with the same quarter last year. Single-family construction accounted for approximately half of the provincial decline (-$539 million). This was the lowest value for single-family dwelling permits since the first quarter of 2009.
Meanwhile, in Quebec, the value of permits rose 2.1% (+$105 million) year over year in the first quarter. Every component except multi-family dwellings was up. The increase was largely the result of higher construction intentions for non-residential buildings.