Value of building permits falls in January

March 13, 2019

Canadian municipalities issued $8.4 billion worth of building permits in January, down 5.5% from the record high in December. Lower construction intentions for non-residential buildings were responsible for the national decline.

In the non-residential sector, $3 billion worth of permits were issued in January, down 15.8% from the previous month. The decrease was the result of lower construction intentions for commercial buildings, down 25.3% to $1.8 billion, following December’s record high.

Meanwhile, increases were reported for both the industrial (+4.8%) and institutional (+0.4%) components. The gains were mainly attributable to higher construction intentions in Ontario and Quebec.

In the residential sector, the value of building permits increased 1.6% from December to $5.4 billion in January. Both single-family and multi-family dwellings posted gains.

The value of single-family dwelling permits rose 3.1% to $2 billion. Four provinces reported increases, led by Ontario, with Quebec a distant second.

Meanwhile, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation recorded 57,760 housing starts across Canada in the last quarter of 2018. While this was the best performing quarter of the year, it was lower than at the same point in 2017, when 60,642 units were started.