On-Site Magazine

Massive growth in monthly permit values; small net gain in residential

By Adam Freill   

Commercial Construction Industrial Institutional Residential

With all segments of Canada’s building sector contributing, Statistics Canada reports growth of more than 20 per cent in building permit values for April.

Building permits, April 2024 (Source: Statistics Canada, Table 34-10-0285-01, Building permits, by type of building and type of work.)

Building permits spiked in April, reports Statistics Canada. Month over month, the total value of building permits in Canada increased by more than 20 per cent, reaching $12.8 billion.

Construction intentions saw fairly balanced growth, with the residential sector rising by 21 per cent and the non-residential sector jumping 19.6 per cent. The non-residential sector reached a combined $4.8 billion in permit values, with growth observed in all components.

On a constant dollar basis, using 2017 as the baseline, the total monthly value of building permits grew 20.7 per cent in April, reaching their highest level since June of last year.

The $8 billion of residential building permits posted for the month were largely driven by record high levels in the multi-unit component, which increase 32.6 per cent to $5.4 billion. The single-family home component edged up a more modest 2.4 per cent to $2.6 billion.


British Columbia’s more than 75 per cent spike led provincial growth in the multi-unit component, as builders in that province pushed permits to a record high of $1.9 billion. Ontario also supported the monthly growth in the component, gaining almost 32 per cent for the month.

Across Canada, 4,300 new single-family homes were authorized in April. Meanwhile, 22,600 new multi-unit dwellings were also approved through building permits, an all-time high. Despite a strong month, the 12-month cumulative total of 267,700 units authorized from May 2023 to April 2024 saw little change, increasing by just 200 units compared to the 267,500 units authorized from May 2022 to April 2023.

British Columbia was also driving growth in the non-residential sector in April, posting a gain of almost 150 per cent over March. Nationally, the 19.6 per cent gains across segments were based on a 21.3 per cent gain in the commercial segment, a 17.7 per cent rise in the institutional segment, and growth of 17.4 per cent in the industrial component.





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