StatsCan building permits report: March 2018

May 17, 2018
By StatsCan
May 17, 2018 - The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities increased 3.1% to $8.4 billion in March, following a 2.8% decline in February. The rise was mainly the result of higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings, particularly in Quebec and British Columbia, and, to a lesser extent, by the commercial component.

Non-residential sector: Higher commercial construction intentions lead the sector's rise
The value of building permits for non-residential structures rose 4.5% to $3.0 billion in March, after a 6.4% decline in February. Higher construction intentions for commercial buildings led the increase, moderated by a decline in the institutional component. In March, six provinces registered increases in the value of non-residential permits, led by British Columbia—the only province to register gains in all three non-residential components.

Construction intentions for commercial structures rose 10.0% to $1.7 billion in March. British Columbia (+59.3%) posted the largest increase, the result of increased activity in office buildings.

The value of building permits issued for industrial structures rose 11.6% to $666.5 million in March, largely the result of primary industry buildings, which includes farm buildings and greenhouses.

The institutional component fell 12.7% to $647.7 million in March, led by Quebec and Alberta. Nationally, lower construction intentions for hospitals contributed to the decline.

First quarter: The value of multi-family dwellings leads the rise
Canadian municipalities issued $24.9 billion worth of building permits in the first quarter of 2018, up 3.3% compared with the fourth quarter of 2017.

Construction intentions for residential dwellings led the national increase, rising 6.9% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to $15.9 billion in the first quarter of 2018. The 18.4% increase of the multi-family component more than offset a 3.5% decline in the single-family component.

On the other hand, the value of non-residential building permits fell 2.6% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to $9.0 billion in the first quarter of 2018. The drop was the result of lower activity in both the industrial and institutional components.

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