Non-res building permits bounce back in December: StatsCan
Non-residential building permits bounced back in December, marking a 2.5 per cent increase to $2.3 billion following three consecutive months of decline, according the latest numbers from Statistics Canada.
This increase followed a 23.2% decline in November. Gains in commercial construction intentions (up 14.6 per cent to $1.3 billion) more than offset decreases in the institutional and industrial components. The advance was largely the result of higher construction intentions for retail complexes and, to a lesser extent, storage buildings and research centres. Increases were posted in five provinces, led by Ontario and British Columbia. The largest declines were in Alberta and Quebec.
The value of permits in the industrial component fell 3.2% to $405 million in December, a third consecutive monthly decline. Lower construction intentions for manufacturing plants, minor industrial projects and maintenance buildings accounted for the majority of the decline. The decreases in Ontario and British Columbia more than offset the gains reported elsewhere.
Institutional construction intentions declined for a second consecutive month, down 13.6% to $594 million in December. The decrease at the national level was largely the result of lower construction intentions for medical facilities and elementary schools. Declines were posted in seven provinces, with Quebec recording the largest decrease, followed by Ontario and British Columbia. Alberta recorded a notable gain in the value of permits for institutional structures.
Overall, the total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities rose 11.3% to $6.9 billion in December, following a 19.9% decline the previous month. Higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta explained the advance.
Construction intentions in the residential sector increased 16.3% to $4.7 billion in December, following a 17.9% decline the previous month. Gains were posted in every province except Saskatchewan. Higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings led the advance.
The value of building permits for multi-family dwellings rose 39.1% to $2.3 billion in December, following a 33.8% decline in November. Higher construction intentions were reported in nine provinces, led by Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. Newfoundland and Labrador was the lone province to post a decline.
The value of permits for single-family dwellings edged down 0.1% from November, remaining fairly stable at around $2.3 billion for the fourth consecutive month. Advances in seven provinces failed to offset declines in the three other provinces. Saskatchewan posted the largest decrease.
Municipalities approved the construction of 17,506 new dwellings in December, up 16.5% from the previous month. The gain mainly resulted from multi-family dwellings, which increased 25.6% to 11,816 new units. Single family dwellings were up 1.3% to 5,690 new units.
The total value of building permits was up in eight provinces in December, with Alberta posting the largest gain, followed by Ontario and British Columbia.
In Alberta, the value of building permits was up 26.0% to $1.2 billion in December, following a 56.3% decline the previous month. The gain was attributable to higher construction intentions in both the non-residential and residential sectors, led by institutional structures and multi-family dwellings.
Ontario municipalities issued $2.7 billion worth of building permits in December, up 5.7% from a month earlier. Higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings largely explained the advance.
The total value of building permits in British Columbia rose 12.5% to $1.2 billion in December, the third consecutive monthly gain. Higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings were responsible for the monthly increase.
In December, the total value of building permits was up in 20 of the 34 census metropolitan areas, with Toronto registering the largest increase, followed by Calgary and Montréal.
In Toronto, the gains resulted mainly from higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and, to a lesser extent, commercial buildings. In Calgary, higher intentions for multi-family dwellings and industrial buildings were responsible for the advance.
Montréal reported higher building intentions for multi-family dwellings, which offset declines in every other component.