On-Site Magazine

Building permit values hit five-year high in May

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July 6, 2012 by Andrew Snook

Municipalities issued $7.0 billion worth of building permits in the month of May, for an increase of 7.4 per cent when compared to April 2012, when permits declined by 4.4 per cent.

According to a recent Statistics Canada report, the May gains raised the value of building permits issued to its highest level since May 2007.

The increased building permit values were largely due to increased construction intentions for institutional buildings in Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan; and for multi-family dwellings in B.C.

Seven provinces experienced increases in overall building permit values, with Quebec experiencing the largest overall decline.

Vancouver, B.C., Edmonton, Alta. and Ottawa, Ont. experienced the largest gains in building permit values for metropolitan areas in May, with 17 of 34 census metropolitan areas experiencing overall gains for the month.

The largest declines in construction intentions were experienced in Calgary, Alta., Thunder Bay, Ont. and Montreal, Que.

Non-residential construction intentions increased 6.0 per cent in May to $2.9 billion, after declining 7.0 per cent in April.

Saskatchewan and B.C. led six provinces that experienced boosts in non-residential building intentions.

Values for permits in the institutional component were up 69.4 per cent to $945 million in May, after declining 42.7 per cent in April.

All provinces experienced increases in the institutional component with the exceptions of Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The largest gains resulted from an increase in construction intentions for medical facilities in B.C.; government buildings in Alberta and Saskatchewan; and educational institutions in Quebec and Alberta.

The commercial component experienced a 12.4-per cent decline to $1.4 billion in May, after three months of consecutive gains.

Alberta and B.C. experienced the largest declines due to a decrease in construction intentions for office buildings, which experienced significant gains in April. Ontario and New Brunswick also experienced decreases in the commercial component, fuelled by drops in construction intentions for various buildings, including retail buildings, warehouses and recreational facilities.

The industrial component fell 4.5 per cent to $549 million in May, after experiencing a 40.0-per cent increase in April.

Five provinces experienced declines in the industrial component, with the largest decreases taking place in Quebec, Manitoba and B.C. The decrease was led by reduced construction intentions for manufacturing plants and transportation-related permits.

Residential building permits were up 8.5 per cent in May to $4.1 billion, fuelled largely by increases in five provinces with B.C., Ontario and Alberta experiencing the biggest gains. The boost in residential construction intentions follows four consecutive months of decline.

To read the full report, click here.

Source: Statistics Canada.

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