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StatsCan building permits report: January 2020

March 19, 2020  By Stats Canada

The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities increased 4.0% to $9.2 billion in January. Increases were reported in six provinces, led by British Columbia (+52.1% to $2.2 billion).

Change in Vancouver’s development costs drives growth in British Columbia and nationally
The majority of January’s national increase in the value of building permits was in British Columbia (+$751 million), largely due to the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Vancouver. The value of permits increased in the CMA of Vancouver by 81.8%, prior to increases in development fees, which came into effect on January 15. Meanwhile, Quebec (-$366 million) and Ontario (-$161 million) reported the largest provincial declines after strong activity in December 2019.

Non-residential sector down due to institutional permits
The value of non-residential permits was down 7.8% to $3.5 billion in January. This decrease was largely due to a decline in the total value of institutional permits (-30.5% to $732 million) following strong gains in December 2019.

Despite increases in seven provinces, the value of commercial permits decreased 0.8% to $2.1 billion, with Quebec reporting the largest decline (-$249 million).


The value of industrial permits offset some of the non-residential decline, rising 6.8% to $682 million, led by Ontario (+$90 million).

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