Electrical Business

Articles Business Features News

Ontario leads the decline in residential building permit values, March 2024

May 21, 2024 | By Anthony Capkun

May 21, 2024 – Month over month, the total value of building permits in Canada decreased 11.7% to $10.5 billion in March, reports Statistics Canada.

Non-residential construction intentions decreased 16.7% to $4.0 billion in March, with reductions in the industrial (-46.1%, -$629.8 million) and institutional (-22.2%, -$293.1 million) components. The large decline in the industrial component was due to the lack of major industrial permits issued in March compared with February, which was the second-highest monthly level recorded.

The commercial component tempered the declines in the non-residential sector by growing 5.8% to $2.2 billion in March.

The value of residential building permits decreased 8.3% to $6.5 billion in March, with Ontario leading the decline in value for both single-family and multi-family dwelling permits (-13.7%, -$377.4 million).


However, the residential sector grew in Quebec (+7.3%, +$90.1 million), Prince Edward Island (+70.4%, +$14.3 million), Saskatchewan (+10.3%, +$6.3 million), Newfoundland & Labrador (+7.7%, +$2.2 million), and Manitoba (+0.9%, +$1.4 million).

Across Canada, 16,800 new multi-unit dwellings and 4200 new single-family homes were authorized in March. From April 2023 to March 2024, a total of 260,200 new units were authorized.

First quarter, 2024, recap

The total value of building permits in the first quarter of 2024 was $33.4 billion, a 3.7% increase from the previous quarter ($32.2 billion), representing a partial rebound from Q4 2023, which was the lowest quarterly total value since Q3 2021 ($30.5 billion).

The growth was driven by British Columbia (+20.1%, +$988.4 million), which posted significant gains in the commercial and industrial non-residential components, and in the multi-unit residential component.

Despite quarterly gains, construction intentions in Q1 2024 remained lower than the average quarterly levels of the previous two years.

Construction intentions in the non-residential sector increased 6.9% to $13.0 billion in Q1 2024, led by the commercial component (+22.3% to $6.6 billion), which posted the highest level of the previous four quarters. This growth was driven by permits for office buildings.

Overall, nine provinces and territories reported increases in commercial construction intentions, led by Ontario (+34.8%, +$710.1 million), Quebec (+31.2%, +$296.6 million) and British Columbia (+32.4%, +$269.3 million).

The value of residential building permits edged up 1.8% in the first quarter. Growth in the multi-unit component (+7.9%, +$919.5 million) was partially offset by declines in the single-family homes component (-6.6%, -$565.6 million).

Print this page


Stories continue below