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8/10 provinces post decreases – Building permits, January 2023

March 10, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

March 10, 2023 – The monthly total value of building permits in Canada decreased 4.0% in January to $9.8 billion, reports Statistics Canada.

Eight provinces reported decreases in January, with the multi-residential sector in British Columbia significantly contributing to the national fall.

The residential sector declined 6.6% to $6.1 billion in January, while the non-residential sector was relatively stable, increasing a modest 0.7% to $3.7 billion.

The total value of non-residential sector permits was up slightly by 0.7% to $3.7 billion in January, with gains in the commercial component offsetting losses in both the industrial and institutional components.


Commercial permit values increased 5.4% in January, with Ontario leading the charge (+22.8%). This was the second consecutive monthly increase as the component reached the third-highest recorded value since the start of the series (2011).

The value of building permits in the industrial component decreased 3.9% in January, with six provinces posting declines. After reaching its peak at over a billion dollars in November 2022, the component returned to more normal levels in January 2023.

Construction intentions in the institutional sector decreased 5.9% in January, with Quebec (-21.1%) seeing the biggest decline. Conversely, British Columbia jumped 43.8% due to an $87-million permit for an educational building in Kelowna.

Residential permits decreased 6.6% to $6.1 billion in January, with seven provinces posting decreases.

The downward trend of multi-family homes continued as construction intentions declined 8.3% in January. Most of the decline stemmed from British Columbia (-27.9% or -$301.2 million) following a month of significant urban development intentions.

Conversely, Manitoba posted a notable increase (+106.0% or +$63.0 million) in January.

Total permit values for single-family homes decreased 4.4% in January, with Quebec (-13.5% or -$74.6 million) contributing the most to the decline. Alberta (+0.8%) and British Columbia (+0.6%) were the only provinces to post increases for this component.

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