On-Site Magazine

Rough April for building permits

By Adam Freill   

Commercial Construction Industrial Institutional Residential

Permits hit their lowest monthly values since December of 2020 as decline in large scale projects takes its toll on non-residential sector.

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

The total monthly value of building permits in Canada dropped 18.8 per cent in April, to $9.6 billion, hitting their lowest level since December of 2020.

The fall was particularly hard in the non-residential sector, where Statistics Canada reports the monthly value fell by 34.6 per cent on the heels of a record-high March. April’s non-residential permits came in at $3.4 billion as the commercial and industrial segments both fell more than 40 per cent.

On a seasonally unadjusted basis, the average commercial permit was valued at $433,000 in April compared with $901,000 in March. Similarly, the average industrial permit was valued at $413,000 in April compared with $1.7 million in March. The significantly lower average permit values, says Statistics Canada, show that the monthly declines in April are attributed to exceptionally high volumes of large-scale projects in March.

The residential sector outperformed the ICI segments, but was also not able to outperform the March totals. The total monthly value of residential permits declined 6.1 per cent, to $6.1 billion, sliding for the second consecutive month. Declines were posted for both the single-family and multi-dwelling components.


Ontario was down 10.5 per cent, which greatly contributed to the monthly decrease. British Columbia, which up 2.6 per cent and Saskatchewan, which jumped a whopping 45 per cent, were the two provinces to post monthly growth in residential construction intentions.




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