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Hospital intentions lead non-residential building permit values in June 2023

August 11, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun



August 11, 2023 – The total monthly value of building permits in Canada increased 6.1% in June to $11.6 billion, with a sizeable 67.2% increase (+$619.3 million) in the institutional component, reports Statistics Canada.

In fact, hospital construction intentions led gains in non-residential permit values, which increased 20.4% to $4.7 billion in June.

Declines in commercial construction intentions (-7.7%, -$176.0 million) were more than offset by gains in the industrial (+51.0%, +$349.9 million) and institutional (+67.2%, +$619.3 million) components.

The two highest-value permits in June were issued for the construction of new hospitals in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., and Dawson Creek, B.C., which together accounted for 58.6% of the total value of institutional construction intentions.

On the residential side, the total monthly value of permits declined 1.8% to $6.9 billion in June. Ontario (-11.4%, -$358.1 million) contributed the most to the decline, falling off after the province posted strong volumes of large multi-unit projects in May.

Similarly, Saskatchewan (-51.4%, -$58.5 million) and New Brunswick (-20.5%, -$20.7 million) posted notable declines—mostly offset by gains in each of the remaining seven provinces.

Across Canada, permits for 22,000 new dwellings were issued in June.

Second quarter 2023 analysis

The total value of building permits in Q2 2023 declined 1.0% from Q1 to $32.2 billion, as the non-residential sector fell 9.6% to $12.0 billion, following the first quarter’s record high for that sector.

Despite the overall decline, the residential sector broke a three-quarter slump, increasing 4.9% in the second quarter to $20.3 billion.

64,400 dwelling units were created in permits issued in the second quarter of 2023, 2.7% more than in the first quarter (62,700 units), with British Columbia leading the quarterly gains (+24.4%, +2,700 new units). Nationally, new dwelling units created in Q2 were 14.7% below the number of dwellings created in the second quarter of 2022 (75,400 units).


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