December proved a good month for building permits in Canada. The total value increased by 7.4 per cent to $8.7 billion. Five provinces reported increases, led by Ontario and Quebec – up 10.5 per cent to $3.4 billion and up 15.8 per cent to $2.2 billion, respectively.
The total value of permits for multi-family dwellings was up 15.9 per cent to $2.9 billion in December, mostly due to large projects in the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Montreal and Vancouver. Single-family dwellings posted a decrease of 3.2 per cent or $2.2 billion, with the largest decline in Ontario.
The value of commercial permits rose 19.7 per cent to $2 billion in December, largely due to plans for the multi-use commercial development “Royalmount” in Montreal.
Meanwhile, the value of institutional permits rose to its highest level since September 2017, largely due to permits for the redevelopment of the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. The total value of industrial permits declined 21 per cent to $583 million following strong gains in November.
Year over year
For 2019 overall, municipalities issued $102.4 billion worth of permits, up 2.6 per cent compared with 2018. Gains were reported in six provinces, year over year, with the largest increase in Ontario. Alberta recorded the largest decrease at $1.8 billion, with declines in all building types. The value of permits in Toronto increased 1.9 per cent to $19.2 billion, while several other Ontario cities also reported notable gains. The CMA of Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo posted the largest increase in the country (53.5 per cent increase to $2.2 billion), largely due to an increase in the value of permits for multi-family dwellings.
Edmonton reported the largest decrease in the total value of building permits accounting for more than half of the overall decline in Alberta (down 21.5 per cent to $3.9 billion). This was the fifth consecutive annual decrease in the CMA of Edmonton, reflecting the challenging economic environment in the province, reports Statistics Canada.
Building intentions in the non-residential sector increased by 9.4 per cent to $40.4 billion, with gains in seven provinces. All components reported increases led by commercial permits.
Conversely, the value of permits in the residential sector declined by 1.3 per cent to $62 billion. The value of permits for single-family homes fell 4.9 per cent to $26.5 billion, its lowest level since 2009. Permits for multi-family dwellings offset some of this decline, rising 1.5 per cent to a record $35.5 billion.