Building permits down slightly in June

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Chart 1: Total value of building permits.

There was a slight decline in building permits by Canadian municipalities from May to June. Permits for a total of $8 billion value in construction were issued in June, a 3.7 per cent decline from the previous month. This was largely due to a decrease in the value of multi-family and institutional permits, reports Statistics Canada.

Six provinces suffered declines with Alberta accounting for over one-third of the national decrease. Nova Scotia reported the largest increase of 32.1 per cent which reflects the value of residential and commercial permits in Halifax.

Chart 2: Value of building permits for the residential and non-residential sectors
Value of building permits for the residential and non-residential sectors

The value of permits for multi-family dwellings posted the largest monthly decrease, down 6.7 per cent in June to $2.6 billion. The decline was concentrated in Quebec where the value of permits fell 21.8 per cent.

There were increases in other parts of the country, including the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo in Ontario with an increase of $82 million and Kelowna, B.C. with an increase of $61 million.

Institutional permits decreased in seven provinces in June with the largest decline

Chart 3: Month-to-month change in the value of residential building permits
Month-to-month change in the value of residential building permits

seen in British Columbia. Though the total value of industrial permits rose 1.7 per cent in June. This is due largely to a high-value permit for a food processing plant in the CMA of Calgary.

Commercial permits also decreased in June, down 1.1 per cent to $1.9 billion. This was attributed to declines in B.C. and Alberta. There was a notable increase in Quebec of $156 million driven by a permit for Medicago – a biotech company in the CMA of Quebec City.

Municipalities issued $25.8 billion of permits in the second quarter, which is up 5.8 per cent from the first quarter. On a

Chart 4: Month-to-month change in the value of non-residential building permits
Month-to-month change in the value of non-residential building permits

year-to-year basis, there was a one per cent decline in the value of permits in the residential sector. This was offset by increased construction intentions.

The value of permits issued in Alberta increased six per cent from the first to the second quarter but remained 15.2 per cent below the same quarter the previous year. The second quarter of 2019 marked the fifth consecutive quarter where the value of permits in Alberta declined on a year-to-year basis.

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