Vancouver drives value of building permits to new high

Canadian municipalities issued a record $9.3 billion worth of building permits in April, representing an increase of 18.3% from a year earlier. The $1.2 billion monthly increase was also the largest since May 2007.

Although six provinces reported higher values, British Columbia accounted for most of the gain. This was due to permits being issued ahead of the development cost increase in Metro Vancouver in May, the first change in costs in that region since 1997.

Quebec reported the largest decline, down $147 million from March.

In the residential sector, the value of permits rose 24.5% to $5.9 billion in April. Municipalities in B.C. issued $2.2 billion worth of residential permits alone, almost doubling the previous record set in June 2018.

The value of non-residential building permits rose a more modest 1.1% from March to $3.4 billion, as higher construction intentions for industrial buildings were reported in nine provinces. The gain was largely due to the issuance of a high value permit for a food processing plant in the CMA of London, Ont.

Meanwhile, the value of permits declined for both the institutional and commercial components in April.