By Anthony Capkun
September 7, 2021 – The total value of building permits in Canada decreased 3.9% to $9.9 billion in July, reports Statscan.
With the exception of British Columbia and Newfoundland & Labrador, all provinces posted lower values, with the majority of the national decline reported in Alberta (-23.4%).
Building permits fell 3.1% in the residential sector and 5.6% in the non-residential sector.
Seven provinces reported declines in the residential sector, led by Ontario (-10.5%).
Single-family permits fell 9.6% in July, with two provinces showing growth. Ontario (-9.1%) contributed the most to the decrease.
Construction intentions for multi-family units rose 2.7% in July. British Columbia posted an increase of 55.1%, which was driven by high-valued condo projects in the city of Surrey.
In contrast, Ontario reversed strong growth in June (+67.6%) and fell 11.7% in July due to fewer high-valued condo permits reported for the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Hamilton and Guelph.
Non-residential permit values declined 5.6% to $2.9 billion in July, despite Ontario’s growth of 17.3%. Seven provinces were down, with Alberta reporting the largest decrease (-46.9%).
Institutional permits decreased for a third consecutive month to $718 million, with eight provinces reporting lower values. The majority of the decline stemmed from Quebec (-36.8%) following a strong June (+40.0%) when multiple high-valued permits were issued for alternative care and senior homes.
Conversely, Ontario saw a 60% increase, with projects such as the Linhaven nursing home and a new secondary school—both in the CMA of St. Catharines–Niagara.
Alberta’s commercial permits fell 45.5% in July following a notable increase in June (+56.6%). The decline in Alberta and in six other provinces pulled the value of commercial permits at the national level down 6.9% to $1.6 billion.
The value of industrial permits was up 17.6% to $612 million, with half the provinces reporting growth. Quebec (+59.5%) led the increase, with a $30-million warehouse permit, and was followed by Nova Scotia (+412.3%), where a $40-million composting facility permit was issued.