Building permits, April 2019
Canadian municipalities issued a record $9.3 billion worth of building permits in April. The increase in the value of permits was almost entirely due to a planned change in development costs in Metro Vancouver.
Change in development costs drives increase
Nationally, the value of permits was up $1.2 billion in April, the largest increase since May 2007. Although six provinces reported higher values, British Columbia accounted for most of the gain. This was due to permits being issued ahead of the development cost increase in Metro Vancouver in May, the first change in costs in that region since 1997. Meanwhile, Quebec reported the largest decline, down $147 million from March.
Multi-family dwellings in British Columbia boost residential permit values
In the residential sector, the value of permits rose 24.5% to $5.9 billion in April.
Municipalities in British Columbia issued $2.2 billion worth of residential permits, almost doubling the previous record set in June 2018. The provincial increase was driven by multi-family dwelling permits issued in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Vancouver (+$880 million).
The value of single-family dwelling permits was up 5.1% to $2.2 billion, led by Ontario (+$67 million).
Industrial permits in Ontario surpass half-billion dollar mark for first time
Nationally, the value of non-residential building permits rose 1.1% from March to $3.4 billion in April, as higher construction intentions for industrial buildings were reported in nine provinces. The gain was largely due to the issuance of a high value permit for a food processing plant in the CMA of London.
Meanwhile, the value of permits declined for both the institutional and commercial components in April. This followed strong numbers in the previous month, when multiple high-value permits were issued in Quebec and British Columbia.
Dwelling units, value of residential and non-residential building permits, Canada – Seasonally adjusted
Note to readers
Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data, which facilitate month-to-month comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.
The Building Permits Survey covers over 2,400 municipalities, representing 95% of the Canadian population. The communities representing the other 5% of the population are very small and their levels of building activity have little impact on the total for the entire population.
Building permits data are used as a leading indicator of activity in the construction industry.
The value of planned construction activities presented in this release excludes engineering projects (such as waterworks, sewers or culverts) and land.
For the purposes of this release, the census metropolitan area of Ottawa–Gatineau (Ontario/Quebec) is divided into two areas: the Ottawa part and the Gatineau part.
Unless otherwise specified, the highlights refer to seasonally adjusted current dollars and are ranked in terms of dollar change rather than percentage change.
Single-family dwellings: Residential buildings containing only one dwelling unit (for example, single-detached house, bungalow, linked home [linked at the foundation]).
Multi-family dwellings: Residential buildings containing multiple dwelling units (for example, apartment, apartment condominium, row house, semi-detached).
Industrial buildings: Buildings used in the transformation or production of goods, or related to transportation and communication.
Commercial buildings: Buildings used in trade or distribution of goods and services.
Institutional and government buildings: Buildings used to house public and semi-public services such as those related to health and welfare, education, or public administration, as well as buildings used for religious services.
Unadjusted data for the current reference month are subject to revision based on late responses. Data for the previous month have been revised. Seasonally adjusted data are revised for the previous two months.
Trend-cycle estimates have been added to the charts as a complement to the seasonally adjusted series. Both seasonally adjusted data and trend-cycle estimates are subject to revision as additional observations become available. These revisions could be large and even lead to a reversal of movement, especially at the end of the series. The higher variability associated with trend-cycle estimates is indicated with a dotted line on the chart.
For information on trend-cycle data, see the StatCan Blog and Trend-cycle estimates – Frequently asked questions.
Data on building permits for May will be released on July 9.
Statistics Canada has a new Housing Market Indicators Dashboard. This web application provides access to key housing market indicators for Canada, by province and by census metropolitan area. These indicators are automatically updated with new information from monthly releases, giving users access to the latest data.
For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).