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Building permits slide in August


October 8, 2010
By Rock To Road

Oct. 8, 2010 – Contractors took out $5.7 billion in building permits in August, down 9.2% from July, but still 11.4% higher than in August 2009. The decline in August was due to decreases in the non-residential sector, which outweighed increases in the residential sector.

Oct. 8, 2010 – Contractors took out $5.7 billion in building permits in August, down 9.2% from July, but still 11.4% higher than in August 2009. The decline in August was due to decreases in the non-residential sector, which outweighed increases in the residential sector.

Total Value Permits 
Total value of permits.


 

In the non-residential sector, municipalities issued $2.2 billion worth of permits, down 22.9% from July. This decrease occurred mainly as a result of declines in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.

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After four months of decline, the value of the residential sector increased 2.0% to $3.5 billion, thanks to a substantial gain in permits for multi-family dwellings, particularly in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.

The total value of building intentions increased in five provinces: New Brunswick, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Residential sector: Higher intentions for multi-family dwellings
Municipalities issued $1.5 billion worth of permits for multi-family dwellings in August, up 12.9% from July and the highest value since July 2008. British Columbia accounted for most of the increase, although five other provinces also registered higher intentions for the construction of multi-family dwellings. In contrast, Alberta posted the largest decline.

The value of single-family permits decreased 4.9% to $2.0 billion. Intentions in this component have fallen in the last five months. Alberta and Ontario accounted for most of the decline at the national level in August.

Municipalities approved the construction of 16,764 new dwellings in August, down 0.3% from July. The 10.8% decrease in the number of single-family dwellings, which totalled 6,488, more than offset the 7.7% increase in the number of multi-family dwellings, which totalled 10,276.

Non-residential sector: Decreases in all three components
Building intentions declined in all three components of the non-residential sector in August.
After two consecutive monthly increases that brought the level to a new high, the value of permits in the institutional component fell 38.9% to $705 million in August. Ontario recorded the largest decrease, due to lower construction intentions for health care facilities. The decrease in Quebec came mostly from lower intentions for educational facilities.

In the commercial component, municipalities issued permits worth $1.1 billion, down 12.2% from July. Lower construction intentions were spread across a wide variety of buildings, such as office buildings, laboratories and hotels. Commercial building intentions fell in six provinces.

In the industrial component, intentions fell 11.5% to $369 million, the third consecutive monthly decline. The decrease in August came mostly from manufacturing buildings in Ontario and utility buildings in Alberta. Industrial construction intentions fell in seven provinces.

Residential and non-residential 
Residential and non-residential sectors.


 

Largest declines in Ontario and Alberta

In August, the value of building permits was down in five provinces.

The largest decreases occurred in Ontario and Alberta. In Ontario, the decline was the result of lower intentions in the non-residential sector and single-family permits. In Alberta, the decrease came from the residential sector and the industrial component.

The most significant increases were in New Brunswick and British Columbia. In New Brunswick, the increase in the value of permits came mainly from institutional and industrial permits. The gain in British Columbia was due to the residential sector.

Permit values down in more than half of census metropolitan areas
The total value of permits shrank in 19 of the 34 census metropolitan areas.

The largest declines occurred in St. Catharines–Niagara, Trois-Rivières and Montréal. In St. Catharines–Niagara and Montréal, the decrease came from the non-residential sector after strong increases in the previous month. In Trois-Rivières, the decline came from both residential and non-residential sectors.

In contrast, Vancouver and Saint John posted the largest gains. In Vancouver, the increase was driven by higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings. In Saint John, the gain was mainly the result of higher institutional permits.


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