On-Site Magazine

September permits come crashing down

By Adam Freill   

Commercial Construction Industrial Institutional Residential

Decline in construction intentions hits double-digits in largest monthly decline on record.

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

September was a slow month in building permit offices across the nation as Statistics Canada reports the total value of building permits in Canada fell 17.5 per cent to $10.2 billion. That was the largest recorded monthly decline and the first time all survey components posted monthly decreases since September 2019. Only the single-family residential segment was spared a double-digit drop, but both the residential and the non-residential sectors posted big drops, falling 15.6 per cent and 21.5 per cent, respectively.

The value of residential permits fell to $7 billion nationally in September. The value of building permits in the multi-family component tumbled 21.2 per cent, largely due to Ontario falling 40 per cent from a record high that was posted in August. While August saw the submission of four permits valued at over $100 million in that province, including one for $480 million, there were no permits in September that broke the $100-million mark.

Construction intentions in the single-family homes component declined 7.7 per cent, with notable declines in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.

Permits were down across the board in the non-residential sector, falling by 21.5 per cent as a group, to $3.2 billion in September.


After three consecutive monthly increases, the institutional component dropped 37.2 per cent in the month, while intentions in the commercial component fell 11.5 per cent, and the industrial component declined 23.4 per cent. That was the industrial component’s lowest point since late 2021.

The total value of building permits in the third quarter of 2022 decreased 6.3 per cent to $33.7 billion after three consecutive quarterly increases, with the residential sector off 5.6 per cent in the quarter and the non-residential sector posting a decrease of 7.9 per cent at $10.8 billion. Declines were felt in all components.




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