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Year-over-year Statistics Canada building permits review

February 7, 2019  By Statistics Canada

The total value of building permits rose 4.7% in 2018 to $99.7 billion, the fifth consecutive annual increase. Higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings were the main factors behind the increase. Four provinces reported gains, led by British Columbia and Quebec. The largest decline was in Ontario, where the value of permits was down 2.2% to $38.2 billion.

Construction intentions in the non-residential sector rose 3.7% in 2018 to $36.9 billion. Increases in the commercial component (+18.4% to $21.6 billion) more than offset the decline for institutional buildings (-22.1% to $8.0 billion). The decrease in institutional building permits may be due, in part, to the end of the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, as applications to the program closed in February 2018. Meanwhile, permits for industrial buildings rose 3.6% to $7.3 billion. Five provinces reported gains in the non-residential sector, led by British Columbia (+$1.5 billion) and Quebec (+$1.2 billion). The largest decline was in Ontario, where the value of non-residential building permits declined by $1.3 billion.

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