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Building permit values in Canada decreased in July 2021: StatCan

September 3, 2021  By Crane & Hoist Canada Staff/Statistics Canada

Building permit values in Canada dropped 3.9 per cent to $9.9 billion in July, according to recently released data from Statistics Canada.

All provinces except British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador posted lower values, with the majority of the national decline reported in Alberta (-23.4 per cent).

Building permits fell 3.1 per cent in the residential sector and 5.6 per cent in the non-residential sector.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), building permits fell 3.8 per cent to $7.0 billion.


Ontario leads declines

Seven provinces reported declines in the residential sector, led by Ontario (-10.5 per cent).

Single-family permits fell 9.6 per cent in July, with two provinces showing growth. Ontario (-9.1 per cent) contributed the most to the decrease.

Construction intentions for multi-family units rose 2.7 per cent in July. British Columbia posted an increase of 55.1 per cent, which was driven by high-valued condo projects in the city of Surrey.

In contrast, Ontario reversed strong growth in June (+67.6 per cent) and fell 11.7 per cent in July due to fewer high-valued condo permits reported for the census metropolitan areas (CMA) of Hamilton and Guelph.

Non-residential permits fall in July

Non-residential permit values declined 5.6 per cent to $2.9 billion in July, despite Ontario’s strong growth of 17.3 per cent. Seven provinces were down, with Alberta reporting the largest decrease (-46.9 per cent).

Institutional permits decreased for a third consecutive month to $718 million, with eight provinces reporting lower values. The majority of the decline stemmed from Quebec (-36.8 per cent), following a strong June (+40.0 per cent) when multiple high-valued permits were issued for alternative care and senior homes.

Conversely, Ontario saw a 60.0 per cent increase, with projects such as the Linhaven nursing home and a new secondary school both in the CMA of St. Catharines–Niagara.

Alberta’s commercial permits fell 45.5 per cent in July, following a notable increase in June (+56.6 per cent). The decline in Alberta and in six other provinces pulled the value of commercial permits at the national level down 6.9 per cent to $1.6 billion.

The value of industrial permits was up 17.6 per cent to $612 million, with half the provinces reporting growth. Quebec (+59.5 per cent) led the increase, with a $30 million warehouse permit, and was followed by Nova Scotia (+412.3 per cent), where a $40 million composting facility permit was issued.

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