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Building permits September 2009 – StatsCan


November 5, 2009
By Anthony Capkun

The value of building permits increased 1.6% to $5.1 billion in September. This second consecutive monthly increase came from higher intentions in the residential sector, which more than offset a decline in the non-residential sector.

The value of residential permits increased 9.4% to $3.2 billion, a
level not seen since September 2008. The increase was mainly a result
of gains in the value of multi-family dwellings, especially in British
Columbia and Ontario.

In the non-residential sector, the value of permits fell 9.1% to $1.9
billion in September. The decline largely reflects drops in the
institutional and commercial components in British Columbia.

Overall, the value of building permits fell in three provinces (British
Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador) and two territories
(Nunavut and Yukon).

Residential sector: higher intentions for multi-family permits
Municipalities took out $1.1 billion worth of building permits for
multi-family dwellings, up 32.1% from August. This increase was fuelled
by higher construction intentions in eight provinces and two
territories, led by British Columbia and Ontario.

The value of single-family permits edged up 0.2% to $2.1 billion.
Intentions in this component increased in six provinces, which was
enough to offset a 5.4% drop in Ontario.

Municipalities approved the construction of 15,250 new dwellings in
September, up 13.3%. The increase was largely attributable to
multi-family dwellings, which rose 27.8% to 7,835 units.

The number of single-family dwellings approved rose 1.2% to 7415 units.


Non-residential sector: decreases in the institutional and commercial components

In the institutional component, the value of permits declined 18.5% to
$597 million in September, a fourth consecutive monthly decrease.
British Columbia and Newfoundland & Labrador were largely
responsible for the monthly decline. On the other hand, six provinces
posted gains in institutional permits, as a result of higher
construction intentions for home care facilities.

In the commercial component, intentions fell 11% to $950 million. This
decrease came largely from lower construction intentions of
laboratories and recreational buildings in British Columbia and office
buildings in Ontario.

The value of industrial permits rose for a second consecutive month, up
20% to $363 million in September. The increase was due mostly to higher
intentions for utility buildings in Quebec and Ontario.

The value of building permits increased in seven provinces in
September. The most significant increases occurred in Quebec (+10.7% to
$1.2 billion), Alberta (+13.8% to $906 million) and Ontario (+5.7% to
$1.8 billion). The increase for all three provinces was the result of
higher construction intentions in both the residential and
non-residential sectors.

British Columbia (-27.3%) posted the largest decline, following a 48.1%
increase in August. The decline was a result of decreases in all three
components of the non-residential sector.

The total value of permits was up in 19 of the 34 census metropolitan
areas. The largest increases occurred in Kingston, Ont., Calgary,
Alta., and Saint John, N.B., the result of gains in multi-family
permits and in the institutional component.

In contrast, Kelowna, B.C., recorded declines in all three components
of the non-residential sector. In Toronto, Ont., the value of permits
declined in both the residential and non-residential sectors, despite
an increase in multiple-family permits.