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Strong increase in August permits: StatsCan


October 13, 2016
By StatsCan

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Municipalities issued $7.3 billion worth of building permits in August, up 10.4% from July. This marked the second consecutive monthly increase. The gain in August was mainly attributable to higher construction intentions in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.

The value of residential building permits was up 9.6% to $4.5 billion in August, following four consecutive monthly declines. Both residential components—multi-family and single-family dwellings—recorded gains. Six provinces posted increases, led by Ontario and British Columbia.

In the non-residential sector, municipalities issued $2.9 billion worth of permits in August, up 11.6% from July. The increase was mainly attributable to higher construction intentions for commercial buildings and, to a lesser extent, industrial buildings. Gains were reported in five provinces, led by Quebec, followed distantly by Manitoba.

Residential sector: Multi-family dwellings record the largest increase
The value of permits for multi-family dwellings rose 14.7% to $1.9 billion in August. This was the third advance in four months. Higher construction intentions were reported in four provinces, led by British Columbia and Ontario. Alberta posted the largest decline.

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In the single-family dwelling component, municipalities issued $2.5 billion worth of building permits in August, up 6.0% from July. The increase stemmed mainly from higher construction intentions in Ontario and Alberta.

Municipalities approved the construction of 16,544 new dwelling in August, up 5.9% from the previous month. The rise was mainly attributable to multi-family dwellings, up 7.9% to 10,557 units. Single-family dwellings increased 2.5% to 5,987 units.

Provinces: Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia post the largest increases
The total value of building permits was up in eight provinces in August, led by Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.

In Quebec, the value of building permits rose 20.6% to $1.4 billion in August, the third increase in four months. Gains were posted in every non-residential component, led by institutional structures. However, the value of residential building permits fell 3.1% in the province, with both residential components recording decreases.

The value of permits in Ontario increased 7.2% to $3.1 billion in August, a second consecutive monthly gain. All components registered advances, except institutional buildings, which had posted a notable increase in July. The overall rise was mainly attributable to higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings, commercial buildings and single-family homes.

Following two monthly declines, the value of permits in British Columbia was up 15.9% to $1.2 billion in August. Higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings more than offset decreases reported in every other component.

Conversely, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador posted declines. In Saskatchewan, the value of permits fell 7.7% to $150 million in August. The decrease stemmed mainly from multi-family dwellings, which were down following five consecutive monthly gains. Newfoundland and Labrador reported a 23.1% drop in the value of permits, a third consecutive monthly decline.

Census metropolitan areas: Montréal records the strongest advance
In August, the total value of building permits was up in 22 of the 34 census metropolitan areas. Montréal reported the largest increase, followed by Toronto.

The value of building permits in Montréal rose 65.6% to $838 million in August, following three consecutive monthly declines. Higher construction intentions were reported in every component, led by institutional and commercial buildings.

In Toronto, the value of permits was up 9.7% to $1.7 billion in August, a third consecutive monthly increase. Higher construction intentions for commercial buildings, multi-family dwellings and single-family homes led the advance.

In contrast, the value of permits in Ottawa dropped 25.7% to $257 million in August, following a 60.9% increase the previous month. Decreases were widespread among all components, except industrial buildings, which recorded a 36.3% gain.