Rock to Road

Building permits jump in March

May 6, 2010  By  Andy Bateman

May 6, 2010 – Following four months of decline, the value
of building permits increased 12.2% in March to $6.3 billion,
Statistics Canada reported today. This was 38.9% higher than the level in
March 2009. The increase came mainly from multi-family and industrial
building permits.

In the residential
sector, construction intentions increased 13.9% to $4.2 billion,
thanks to a substantial gain in permits for multi-family dwellings,
particularly in Ontario and British Columbia.

In the
non-residential sector, municipalities issued $2.1 billion worth of
permits, up 9.1% from February. This increase occurred mainly as a result
of higher construction intentions in the industrial and institutional

Municipalities issued $1.5 billion worth of
multi-family permits in March, up 53.6% from February, its highest level
since July 2008. Ontario and British Columbia
accounted for most of the increase, although six other provinces showed higher
intentions for the construction of multiple dwellings. In contrast, Quebec posted a large
decline following an increase in February.


The Canada
value of building permits for single-family dwellings remained unchanged
at $2.7 billion. Provincially, increases in eight provinces offset
declines in Alberta and Ontario. Quebec
and Newfoundland and Labrador
posted the largest advances in single-family construction intentions.

Nationally, municipalities approved construction
of 19,469 new dwelling units in March, up 21.1%. The gain was
largely attributable to multi-family dwellings, which rose 46.0%
to 10,038 units. This was the first time since
July 2008 that the number of multiple units surpassed 10,000.
The number of single-family dwellings approved increased 2.5%
to 9,431 units.

sector: Gains in industrial and institutional components

In the industrial component, the
value of building permits advanced 56.9% to $423 million, the
third consecutive monthly increase. Alberta
and Ontario
led six provinces that posted higher values. These gains mainly came from
projects related to transportation buildings in this component.

In the institutional component, municipalities issued
permits worth $523 million, up 18.1%. Ontario
and Alberta
posted increases as a result of higher values of building permits for
government administration and religious purposes. In British Columbia, the increase originated
from higher educational building projects.

The value of commercial building permits
totalled $1.2 billion, down 4.5%. The decline was mainly due to
construction intentions for hotels and office buildings in Ontario. However, the value of commercial
permits increased in Saskatchewan and British Columbia, as a
result of higher construction intentions for warehouses and office buildings.

up in all provinces except Quebec

The value of building permits was
up in March in all provinces except Quebec.

The most significant increases were in Ontario
and British Columbia.
In Ontario,
the increase in the value of permits came mainly from multi-family dwellings. British Columbia's gain
was due to both the residential and non-residential sectors.

Following a strong gain in February, Quebec registered the only decrease in
March, mostly as a result of construction intentions for the multi-family and
institutional permits.

up in most census metropolitan areas

The total value of permits
increased in 26 of the 34 census metropolitan areas.

The largest gains were in Vancouver,
Toronto and Calgary. Vancouver posted increases in all types of
buildings. In Toronto,
the increase came mainly from multi-family permits. In Calgary, it was a result of all components of
the non-residential sector.

The largest declines occurred in Edmonton
and Windsor,
the result of decreases in the residential and non-residential sectors.

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