Electrical Business


Building Permits May 2009

July 19, 2009 | By Anthony Capkun

For May 2009, StatsCan reports the value of building permits surpassed the $5-billion mark for the first time since October 2008. Construction intentions were up 14.8% from April, as a result of gains in both residential components and two of the three non-residential components.

Provincially, the main contributing factors were increases in
multi-family dwelling permits in Ontario and institutional permits in
Alberta and Ontario. In the residential sector, the value of permits
has increased for three consecutive months. Residential intentions rose
14.4% to $2.6 billion, with Ontario accounting for most of the increase
at the national level.

In the non-residential sector, the value of permits increased 15.3% to
$2.4 billion following a 12.9% decrease in April. The gain was mainly a
result of increases in the institutional component in Alberta and

Residential sector: Intentions up for both multi- and single-family permits
Municipalities issued $1.1-billion worth of permits for multi-family
dwellings in May, up 40.6% from April. All provinces (except for Nova
Scotia) reported increases in multi-family construction intentions.


Intentions nearly doubled in Ontario compared with April. Single-family
permits rose 1.4% to $1.6 billion, the third consecutive monthly
increase. The gain was a result of higher construction intentions in
seven provinces. Following increases in the two previous months,
single-family permits declined by 10.6% in Alberta in May.

Municipalities approved 13,087 new dwellings in May—up 22.1%. This was
mainly a result of a 40.5% increase in multi-family units to 7948. The
number of single-family units approved rose 1.5% to 5139.

Non-residential sector: Increases in both institutional and industrial components
After a 16.3% decline in April, the value of permits for institutional
buildings increased 47.9% to $913 million. The increase came mainly
from construction intentions for medical buildings in Alberta and
educational buildings in Ontario.

In the industrial component, the value of permits rose 7.3% to $346
million, the third consecutive monthly advance. Quebec and British
Columbia accounted for most of the increase in May, while New Brunswick
and Nova Scotia posted the largest monthly declines.

Permit values for the commercial component remained virtually unchanged
at $1.1 billion (-0.3%). This was due largely to a decline in
construction intentions in seven provinces. In contrast, British
Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta experienced growth in this component.

Strong increases in Alberta and Ontario
The value of building permits increased in all provinces except for the
four Atlantic provinces. The most significant increases occurred in
Alberta (+48.4% to $1.1 billion), the result of advances in all
components except single-family dwellings. Ontario followed with a 15%
increase to $1.8 billion, as a result of gains in both single and
multi-family permits and in the institutional component.

British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Quebec all experienced gains in both
the residential and non-residential sectors. All Atlantic provinces
posted declines, mainly as a result of lower construction intentions in
the non-residential sector. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia experienced
the largest drops.

Metropolitan areas: large gains in Calgary and Toronto
The total value of permits increased in 21 of 34 census metropolitan
areas. The largest gains occurred in Calgary, with all components of
the non-residential sector advancing. Toronto followed with increases
in multi-family dwelling permits.

In contrast, the total value of permits in the census metropolitan area
of Quebec declined in May, after two consecutive monthly increases.
May’s decline came mostly from the commercial component.

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