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StatsCan building permits report: June 2020


September 2, 2020
By Statistics Canada

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The $687 million dollar Oakridge Centre mixed use redevelopment project in the city of Vancouver helped raise the total national value of building permits 6.2% to $8.1 billion in June, to a level comparable to pre-COVID levels. Overall, seven provinces reported gains for the month.

Institutional permits drive non-residential growth

The value of non-residential permits rose 4.6% to $2.7 billion in June.

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Institutional permits were up 47.7% to $841 million, driven by gains in British Columbia (+162.8%) and Ontario (+60.3%).

In contrast, commercial (-9.1% to $1.3 billion) and industrial (-4.0% to $591 million) permits were down in June, following strong gains for both components in May.

Largest quarterly decline since the 2008 financial crisis

The second quarter of 2020 started with record declines in April, following the implementation of COVID-19-related measures by businesses and governments. The easing of those measures in May allowed construction intentions to bounce back and continue to advance in June. Despite the rebound seen in the last two months of the quarter, the value of building permits was down 12.8% compared with the first quarter, a fourth consecutive quarterly decline. The second quarter decrease was the largest reported since the fourth quarter of 2008, during the financial crisis.

Compared to the second quarter of 2019, the value of permits declined 17.4% nationally. Losses were reported across all provinces and territories except Newfoundland and Labrador, where quarterly gains in the institutional sector drove the increase in the total value of permits of 25.0%.


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