On-Site Magazine

Permits down in December

By Adam Freill   

Commercial Construction Industrial Institutional Residential

Few bright spots in Statistics Canada's most recent report on Canada’s seasonally adjusted value of building permits.

Building permits, December 2022.
(Source: Statistics Canada, Table 34-10-0066-01, Building permits, by type of structure and type of work.)

Canada’s seasonally adjusted value of building permits experienced a significant dropped in December. Statistics Canada reported a 7.3 per cent decline as figures came in at just $10.3 billion. Both the residential and non-residential sectors were off for the month.

The residential sector could not compete with the strength shown in November as permit values declined more than eight per cent to settle at $6.5 billion in December. While construction intentions in the single-family homes component only fell 3.9 per cent, the multi-family segment took a big hit. Those permit values fell almost 12 per cent as seven provinces posted declines.

A 40-plus per cent drop in Quebec contributed to much of the decline in the multi-family component following, as that reduction could not be offset by the notable gains posted in New Brunswick, which was up 46.4 per cent, and in Saskatchewan, which jumped 36.9 per cent in December.

Ontario dragged the non-residential sector into red ink as the total value of non-residential permits declined just over five per cent to $3.8 billion in December. Decreases posted in Ontario more than offset gains posted in seven provinces.


By segment, construction intentions in the industrial sector decreased 23.4 per cent, commercial permits edged up 2.2 per cent as seven provinces posted increases, and institutional permits posted a modest one per cent growth month over month. Large institutional reductions in Ontario were offset by notable gains in Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The fourth quarter of 2022 were not stellar for construction intentions in Canada, with the total value of building permits coming in at $31.0 billion, down almost eight per cent from the previous quarter.

The residential sector decreased for the second consecutive quarter after a year of multiple interest rate hikes. Construction intentions fell 13 per cent to $19.8 billion in the quarter, with declines posted in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador.

The news was better in the non-residential sector, where the three core components combined to post an increase of almost three per cent to hit $11.2 billion for the quarter. The industrial component led the charge with a 29.5 per cent gain to post a record quarterly high of $2.8 billion. Commercial permit values remained relatively stable, while institutional permit values fell by slightly more than 12 per cent.




Stories continue below