Building permits, September 2019
The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities decreased 6.5% to $8.3 billion in September, largely due to declines in the residential sector. Gains were reported in four provinces, with the largest increase in Alberta (+7.2% to $1.0 billion). The largest decline was in Quebec (-20.5% to $1.5 billion), mostly due to a drop in the value of permits for multi-family dwellings.
For more information on housing, please visit the Housing Statistics Portal.
Residential permits down
The value of residential building permits was down 10.7% to $5.1 billion in September.
The value of permits issued for multi-family dwellings fell 12.1% to $2.9 billion, with declines in eight provinces, while Nova Scotia and Alberta reported the sole increases.
The value of permits for single-family dwellings decreased 8.7% to $2.2 billion nationally. This decline was largely due to a decrease in Ontario (-$196 million), following strong growth in August.
Slight increase in non-residential permits
Commercial permits rose 6.1% to $2.0 billion in September, largely due to several high-value permits for office buildings in the census metropolitan area of Vancouver. The increase in the value of commercial permits more than offset declines in the value of industrial and institutional permits.
Ontario reaches record quarterly high
Municipalities issued $25.7 billion of permits in the third quarter, down 1.2% from the previous quarter.
The value of permits was down in four provinces in the third quarter compared with the second quarter. The largest decrease was in British Columbia (-17.0% to $4.7 billion), following strong gains in the second quarter.
Despite mixed results across the country, Ontario was up 6.1% to a record quarterly value of $10.7 billion, largely due to the value of multi-family permits.
The total value of permits issued in the first three quarters of 2019 was 2.2% (or $1.7 billion) higher than the same period in 2018. Municipalities approved the construction of 176,582 new dwellings (+0.4%). This is consistent with the 0.2% increase in housing starts reported by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation for the same period.
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 October will be released on December 9.
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).