Ottawa, ON — January rang in the new year with a record high total value of building permits issued, rising 8.2 per cent to $9.9 billion and surpassing the previous record of $9.6 billion set in April 2019, according to Statistics Canada. These gains were driven primarily by the residential sector.
Residential sector surges to new heights
The value of permits issued in the residential sector increased 10.6 per cent to $7.1 billion in January—rising past the previous peak of $6.5 billion posted two months earlier. Provincial highs were reported in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Manitoba.
The majority of the rise in the residential sector was attributable to single-family homes, which climbed 15.1 per cent to a record $3.5 billion—the eighth increase in nine months. Continuing the upward trend observed since October, the value of single-family permits issued in Quebec soared, rising 40.3 per cent. Much of the gain came from regions outside of census metropolitan areas (CMAs).
Multi-family permits increased 6.5 per cent to $3.5 billion, mainly driven by higher construction intentions in Ontario (+17.1 per cent), where several permits in excess of $100 million were issued for condominium apartments in the CMA of Toronto. Conversely, the value of multi-family building permits in Quebec fell for a fifth consecutive month in January.
Non-residential sector up modestly in January
The total value of permits issued for non-residential buildings rose 2.6 per cent to $2.8 billion in January after a 10.8 per cent drop in December.
Following three consecutive monthly declines, industrial permits bounced back to average 2020 levels, increasing 31.7 per cent to $535 million in January. High-value permits for an Amazon warehouse in Lachine, Quebec, and for two Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit stations in Toronto helped reverse the downward trend.
The value of commercial permits increased 3.3 per cent to $1.5 billion. Six provinces posted increases in this component, led by Ontario (+14.7 per cent) and Quebec (+20.4 per cent).
Within the institutional component, municipalities issued permits worth $781 million, 11.8 per cent lower than December. Values in Newfoundland and Labrador returned to typical levels following a $170 million hospital renovation permit issued in Corner Brook the previous month, pushing the national total lower.