Building permits, August 2019
The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities rose 6.1% to $9.0 billion in August, largely because of increases in multi-family and industrial permits. Gains were reported in seven provinces, with over one-third of the national increase in Quebec.
Value of residential permits rises
The value of permits for multi-family dwellings rose in every province, except Nova Scotia, increasing 18.8% to $3.3 billion in August. Over half of these gains were in British Columbia (+$282 million), largely because of a high-value permit in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Vancouver. Quebec also contributed to the increase, up $143 million compared with July.
The value of permits for single-family dwellings rose 3.2% to $2.4 billion nationally, led by Ontario. The CMA of St. Catharines–Niagara issued a record high of $102 million in single-family permits, up $58 million from July. These gains were largely attributable to several developers filing additional permits prior to an upcoming increase in development costs in the region.
Value of industrial permits increases
Industrial permits were the only component in the non-residential sector to increase in value, rising 18.9% to $675 million. The increase was largely due to a high-value permit for a bio-pharmaceutical company in the CMA of Toronto.
The value of commercial permits declined 5.9% to $1.9 billion, following gains in July. Quebec showed some strength in the commercial component (+$73 million) despite the national decrease.
Five provinces reported declines in the value of institutional permits, down 10.7% to $651 million.
The value of permits was down in all three non-residential components in British Columbia, which also reported the largest provincial declines in the values of commercial (-$118 million) and institutional (-$48 million) permits.
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 permit 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 and 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 processing or production of goods, or related to transportation and communication.
Commercial buildings: Buildings used in the 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 for the previous two months have also been revised.
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 could 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 September will be released on November 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).