Building permits, June 2019
The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities declined 3.7% to $8.0 billion in June, largely due to a decrease in the value of multi-family and institutional permits. Six provinces declined, with Alberta accounting for over one-third of the national decrease. Of the provinces posting gains, Nova Scotia reported the largest increase (+32.1%), reflecting gains in the value of residential and commercial permits in Halifax.
For more information on the topic of housing, visit the new Housing Statistics Portal.
Multi-family permits down
The value of permits for multi-family dwellings posted the largest monthly decrease of the five main components, down 6.7% in June to $2.6 billion. The decline was concentrated in Quebec, where the value of permits fell 21.8% following a 16.9% gain in May.
There were increases in other parts of the country, including the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+$82 million) and Kelowna (+$61 million).
Declines in institutional and commercial permits
The value of institutional permits decreased in seven provinces in June, with the largest decline in British Columbia. Despite the national decrease, the value of institutional permits remained 2.2% higher than a year earlier.
On a month-to-month basis, the value of commercial permits decreased 1.1% to $1.9 billion, largely due to declines in British Columbia and Alberta. However, there was a notable increase in Quebec (+$156 million), driven by a permit for Medicago, a biotech company in the CMA of Québec.
The value of industrial permits rose 1.7% in June, largely due to a high value permit for a food processing plant in the CMA of Calgary. This resulted in a 32.9% increase in the value of industrial permits for the province.
Second quarter 2019
Municipalities issued $25.8 billion of permits in the second quarter, up 5.8% from the previous quarter and up 4.1% compared with the same quarter in 2018. On a year-over-year basis, a 1.0% decline in the value of permits in the residential sector was offset by increased construction intentions in all three components of the non-residential sector.
The value of permits was up in seven provinces in the second quarter over the first quarter, led by British Columbia (+22.0% to $5.6 billion). The increase in British Columbia was attributable to a significant rise in permit applications in April in the residential sector of Metro Vancouver prior to the introduction of higher development charges in May.
The value of permits issued in Alberta increased 6.0% from the first to the second quarter, but remained 15.2% below the same quarter a year earlier. The second quarter of 2019 marked the fifth consecutive quarter where the value of permits in Alberta declined on a year-over-year basis.
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 July will be released on September 10.
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).