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Value of Canada Building Permits Hits High in 2007
February 6, 2008
Source: Statistics Canada
The value of building permits hit another record high in 2007, thanks to widespread strong gains across Canada and in both the residential and non-residential sectors.
Municipalities issued $74.3 billion worth of building permits in 2007, up 12.1% from the previous record of $66.3 billion in 2006.
While the gain in 2006 was largely fuelled by the tremendous demand in Western Canada, the increase in 2007 was more widespread across the country. Every province posted gains with the exception of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
In Quebec, the rate of growth accelerated from 5.2% in 2006 to 9.2% in 2007. In Ontario, the value of permits rebounded from a 3.5% decline in 2006 to a 14.7% increase in 2007, a faster rate of growth than the 12.8% gain in Alberta.
Regionally, 21 out of the 34 census metropolitan areas posted increases in their annual total value of construction projects. After recording the largest decline in 2006, Toronto rebounded significantly in 2007 to post the largest gain (in dollars) by far among metropolitan areas. Calgary came second followed by Montréal, Vancouver and Edmonton.
Intentions set new records in both the non-residential and residential sectors. In the non-residential sector, the value of permits totalled $28.7 billion, up 13.8% from $25.2 billion in 2006. All three components (industrial, commercial and institutional) recorded strong growth.
In the housing sector, municipalities issued $45.6 billion worth of permits, up 11.0%. Higher construction prices for new dwellings contributed significantly to the gain, as the number of new dwellings approved increased 2.0% in 2007 to 237,875 units.
This result contrasted sharply with the situation in the United States, where the number of new privately-owned units approved fell by 25.3% in 2007.
On a monthly basis, municipalities issued $6.1 billion worth of building permits in December, a marginal 0.4% gain from November. Housing: Demand shifts to multi-family dwellings The number of multi-family units approved in 2007 totalled 121,170 units, up 6.1% from 2006 and the highest level since 1977. In contrast, the number of single-family units approved declined 2.0% to 116,700 units.
The high price tag on the construction of single-family dwellings in several centres contributed to shift the demand toward multi-family dwellings.
The share of multi-family dwellings went from 48.9% in 2006 to 50.9% in 2007. It was the highest proportion since 1982 when they represented 51.5% of all units.
The value of multi-family permits increased 16.0% to $16.7 billion, while the value of single-family permits rose 8.3% to $28.9 billion.
The strong level of employment, the increase in the disposable income, tight apartment vacancy rates in several centres and attractive financing options continued to stimulate the housing sector in 2007. Non-residential sector: Strong growth in every component Commercial projects fuelled most of the increase in the non-residential sector in 2007. Construction intentions in both commercial and institutional sectors hit record highs, while industrial permits were at their highest annual total since 1989.
Municipalities issued $16.9 billion worth of commercial permits, up 17.1% from 2006. The increase came largely from projects for office buildings, retail complexes and hotels.