Building permits, July 2019
The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities rose 3.0% to $8.3 billion in July, largely due to increases in multi-family and commercial permits. Gains were reported in five provinces, with over one-third of the national increase in British Columbia. Quebec reported the largest decrease, down 4.0% to $1.6 billion due to lower construction intentions in all components of the non-residential sector.
Multi-family permits up
The value of permits for multi-family dwellings rose in seven provinces, increasing 4.2% to $2.8 billion in July. The gain was led by Ontario (+$95 million) and Quebec (+$72 million), following declines the previous month in both provinces.
The value of permits for single-family dwellings nationally edged down 0.2%.
Increases in commercial permits
The largest gain was in commercial permits, which rose 6.7% to $2.0 billion, offsetting three consecutive months of declines. The increase was largely attributable to high-value permits for office buildings in the census metropolitan area of Vancouver.
Six provinces reported declines in the value of industrial permits, down 6.9% to $558 million.
Ontario permits continue to grow
Ontario issued a record high $3.5 billion in permits in July. This was the fifth consecutive monthly gain, moving the province $209 million or 6.3% higher than the same month a year earlier. Manitoba (+$56 million) and New Brunswick (+$27 million) also reported strong year-over-year gains.
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 August will be released on October 8.
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).
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