Statistics Canada reports that the total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities decreased 6.5% to $8.3 billion in September, largely due to declines in the residential sector. Gains were reported in four provinces, with the largest increase in Alberta (+7.2% to $1.0 billion). The largest decline was in Quebec (-20.5% to $1.5 billion), mostly due to a drop in the value of permits for multi-family dwellings.
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The value of residential building permits was down 10.7% to $5.1 billion in September.
The value of permits issued for multi-family dwellings fell 12.1% to $2.9 billion, with declines in eight provinces, while Nova Scotia and Alberta reported the sole increases.
The value of permits for single-family dwellings decreased 8.7% to $2.2 billion nationally. This decline was largely due to a decrease in Ontario (-$196 million), following strong growth in August.
Commercial permits rose 6.1% to $2.0 billion in September, largely due to several high-value permits for office buildings in the census metropolitan area of Vancouver. The increase in the value of commercial permits more than offset declines in the value of industrial and institutional permits.
Municipalities issued $25.7 billion of permits in the third quarter, down 1.2% from the previous quarter.
The value of permits was down in four provinces in the third quarter compared with the second quarter. The largest decrease was in British Columbia (-17.0% to $4.7 billion), following strong gains in the second quarter.
Despite mixed results across the country, Ontario was up 6.1% to a record quarterly value of $10.7 billion, largely due to the value of multi-family permits.
The total value of permits issued in the first three quarters of 2019 was 2.2% (or $1.7 billion) higher than the same period in 2018. Municipalities approved the construction of 176,582 new dwellings (+0.4%). This is consistent with the 0.2% increase in housing starts reported by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation for the same period.
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