Value of Permits Declined 7.7% in November, but Year to Date Exceeded 2016 Total

Economy

Jan 15, 2018

The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities declined 7.7% to $7.7 billion in November 2017, the first decrease in three months. Nationally, the value of permits for all building components declined, with the exception of single-family dwellings.

Non-residential construction intentions in 2017 surpass 2016 total

The value of building permits for non-residential structures fell 12.3% to $2.9 billion in November, following two monthly increases. The decline was spread over the three non-residential components (commercial, industrial and institutional).

As of November, Canadian municipalities had issued over $100 million more in building permits in 2017 compared to the 2016 total, led by higher construction intentions for universities, hospitals and manufacturing plants. Initiatives such as the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, announced in the 2016 federal budget, may have contributed to the increase in the value of university building permits in 2017, while multiple high-value permits helped to drive up the overall value for hospitals and manufacturing plants.

Single-family dwellings hold steady

The value of permits for single-family dwellings remained at $2.6 billion in November. After falling from a peak of $2.9 billion in October 2016, the value of permits for single-family dwellings remained steady at approximately $2.6 billion throughout 2017.

In Ontario, the value of permits for single-family dwellings increased gradually over the previous five months. These gains were offset by slight declines in Alberta and Quebec over the same period. Ontario led the rise in November, as the value of permits issued for single-family dwellings in the province rose 4.3% to $1.2 billion, accounting for 46.0% of the national total.

Quebec down in November following a strong October

The value of building permits in Quebec declined for all building components in November, falling 28.3% to $1.2 billion, the lowest value since February. The decrease came after the province registered a record high $1.7 billion in October.

The decline in November mainly stemmed from lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings, which fell 31.2% to $468.6 million, following eight consecutive monthly increases.

Residential update: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Municipalities in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Toronto issued $1.0 billion in residential permits in November, up 18.8% from the previous month and a second consecutive monthly increase. The value of permits for multi-family dwellings rose 30.1% to $532.4 million and the value of permits for single-family dwellings increased 8.6% to $496.3 million.

Municipalities in the CMA of Montreal issued $481.5 million in residential permits in November, down 26.6% from the record high in October. Building permits for multi-family dwellings fell 34.8% to $348.1 million, while permits for single-family dwellings increased 9.4% to $133.4 million.

In the CMA of Vancouver, the value of residential building permits decreased 21.0% to $408.9 million in November, the second consecutive monthly decline. The value of permits for multi-family dwellings fell 29.5% to $260.3 million, while the value of permits for single-family dwellings rose 0.2% to $148.6 million.

Source: Statistics Canada, www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/180110/dq180110a-eng.htm

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