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Canadian Building Permits Up 5.6% in January

Canadian municipalities issued C$8.4 billion (US$6.5 billion) in building permits in January, up 5.6 percent following a 2.5 percent rise in December, according to Statistics Canada. The value of permits for three components rose, while industrial buildings (-18.6 percent) and single-family dwellings (-1.3 percent) declined. The January increase was largely due to higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in Ontario.

The value of permits for multi-family dwellings in Ontario rose 71 percent to C$974 million (US$752.8 million) in January, more than offsetting the 39.7 percent decline reported the previous month. Nationally, apartments accounted for approximately three-quarters of the value of permits for multi-family dwellings in January, while row houses made up just under 18 percent. The rest of the multi-family dwelling component is comprised of permits for doubles such as semi-detached homes, and minor residential additions and renovations.

In January, 16 of the 36 census metropolitan areas reported gains, led by Toronto. The total value of permits reported by municipalities in Toronto increased 25.5 percent to C$1.8 billion (US$1.4 billion) in January, following a 14 percent decline in December. The increase mainly stemmed from multi-family dwellings, which hit C$590.3 million (US$456.2 million) in January, bouncing back from C$311 million (US$240.4 million) in December, the lowest point in 2017. The second largest gain was reported in the CMA of London, up 89.3 percent (+C$77.5 million, US$59.9 million) from December, also due to multi-family dwellings.

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