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Canadian municipalities issued C$7.8 billion (US$5.9 billion) worth of building permits in November, down 0.1 percent from the previous month, according to Statistics Canada. The decline was largely the result of lower construction intentions in Alberta, following a spike the previous month due to impending changes to the Alberta Building Code.
In the residential sector, the value of building permits fell 1.6 percent to C$5.1 billion (US$3.7 billion) in November. Declines were posted in four provinces, led by Alberta. The largest gains were posted in British Columbia and Quebec.
The value of nonresidential building permits rose 3 percent to C$2.6 billion (US$2 billion) in November. Higher construction intentions were registered in five provinces, led by Quebec and Ontario. The largest decline was reported in Alberta.
In the single-family dwelling component, municipalities issued C$2.8 billion (US$2 billion) worth of permits in November, down 2 percent from October. The decline in Alberta was large enough to offset gains in seven provinces.
The value of permits for multifamily dwellings fell 1 percent to C$2.4 billion (US$1.8 billion) in November. Declines were reported in six provinces. Lower construction intentions in Alberta and Ontario were mainly responsible for the decrease.
Municipalities approved the construction of 19,498 new dwellings in November, up 0.5 percent from the previous month. The increase was attributable to multifamily dwellings, which rose 3.3 percent to 13,035 new units. Conversely, single-family homes fell 4.8 percent to 6,463 new units.
Construction intentions for institutional buildings were up 25.2 percent to C$686 million (US$519.4 million) in November. The gain was largely the result of higher construction intentions for educational facilities and nursing homes. Increases were reported in four provinces, led by Ontario and Quebec.
The value of industrial permits rose 10.1 percent to C$404 million (US$305.9 million) in November. The advance was mainly attributable to higher construction intentions for primary industry buildings, manufacturing plants and maintenance facilities. Gains were posted in six provinces, most notably Quebec.
In the commercial component, the value of building permits was down 6.1 percent to C$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) in November. Lower construction intentions for hotels, office buildings and retail complexes contributed to the drop. Declines were reported in five provinces, led by Alberta.
Permits by geography
The total value of building permits was down in four provinces in November, with Alberta posting the largest decrease. Significant advances in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia were not enough to offset the decrease in Alberta.
Following a notable gain in October—largely the result of an impending change in the provincial Building Code—the value of permits in Alberta dropped 36.9 percent to C$1.1 billion (US$830 million). Residential dwellings, down 36.2 percent from the previous month, accounted for over half of the provincial decrease. Every building permit component declined, led by commercial buildings, specifically retail complexes and hotels.
Conversely, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia recorded the largest gains in November. In Quebec, higher construction intentions were posted for every component, led by multifamily dwellings. The advance in Ontario was mainly attributable to higher construction intentions for institutional and commercial buildings, while in British Columbia the increase was led by multifamily dwellings.
In November, the value of building permits was down in 16 of 34 census metropolitan areas. The largest decline was posted in Calgary, followed distantly by Toronto.
In Calgary, following a 66.2 percent increase in October, the value of building permits fell 77 percent in November. Lower construction intentions in every component contributed to the decline, led by multifamily dwellings, commercial buildings, and single-family homes.
In Toronto, the value of permits was down 11 percent to C$1.6 billion in November, following a 25.7 percent increase in October. The decrease was mainly attributable to lower construction intentions for residential buildings.
In contrast, Vancouver recorded the largest gain, largely as a result of higher construction intentions in all components, most notably multifamily dwellings.