Canadian Building Permits Edge Down in July - Modern Distribution Management

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Canadian Building Permits Edge Down in July

Lower intentions in the nonresidential sector accounted for much of the national decrease.

Building permits issued by Canadian municipalities edged down 0.6 percent to C$7.7 billion (US$5.8 billion) in July, according to Statistics Canada. Lower construction intentions in the nonresidential sector, mainly in Ontario and Alberta, accounted for much of the decrease at the national level.

The value of permits for nonresidential buildings fell 13.9 percent to C$2.7 billion (US$2 billion) in July. Declines were recorded in six provinces, with Ontario and Alberta accounting for much of the decrease, followed by British Columbia. Saskatchewan saw the largest gain in the nonresidential sector, followed by Yukon.

In the residential sector, the value of permits rose 8.7 percent to C$5 billion (US$3.8 billion) in July. Gains were registered in four provinces, led by Ontario and British Columbia. Quebec reported the largest decline in July after posting a 39.9 percent increase in residential building construction intentions in June.

The value of permits for institutional buildings declined 43.7 percent to C$646 million (US$489.7 million) in July. The decrease was due to lower construction intentions for educational institutions, medical facilities as well as retirement residences and residential care facilities. Declines were posted in six provinces, led by Ontario and Alberta. Manitoba registered the largest increase, followed by Yukon.

Municipalities issued C$502 million (US$380.5 million) worth of industrial building permits in July, down 6.7 percent from June. Nationally, the decrease stemmed from lower intentions for maintenance buildings. Construction intentions for industrial buildings fell in six provinces, with Quebec and Ontario behind most of the decline. Alberta recorded the largest advance among the remaining provinces, as a result of increased intentions for utilities buildings.

In the commercial component, the value of permits rose 6.1 percent to C$1.6 billion (US$1.2 billion) in July. Higher permit values for recreational buildings, office buildings and service stations offset declines in retail and wholesale outlets, and warehouses. Increases were recorded in five provinces and two territories, led by Saskatchewan, Quebec and Alberta.

Contractors took out C$2.5 billion (US$1.9 billion) worth of multifamily dwelling permits in July, up 14.3 percent from June. Gains were posted in four provinces, led by British Columbia and Ontario. Quebec and Nova Scotia recorded the largest drops in construction intentions for multi-family dwellings, after large increases the previous month.

The value of permits for single-family dwellings rose 3.6 percent to C$2.5 billion (US$1.9 billion). Advances in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia more than offset declines in the remaining provinces, with Quebec and New Brunswick reporting the largest decreases.

Municipalities approved the construction of 19,555 new dwellings in July, up 10.6 percent from June. The increase came from both multifamily dwellings, which rose 13.5 percent to 13,384 new units, and single-family dwellings, which increased 4.8 percent to 6,171 new units.

The total value of permits fell in six provinces in July. Alberta posted the largest decline, followed by Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia.

The decrease in Alberta was due to lower construction intentions for institutional buildings and, to a lesser extent, multifamily dwellings. In Quebec, the decline came mainly from decreased intentions for multifamily dwellings and industrial buildings, both of which had recorded notable increases the previous month.

The decline in Ontario resulted from lower intentions for nonresidential buildings, mostly institutional buildings and commercial structures. Higher construction intentions for residential buildings, particularly multifamily dwellings, partly offset the drop in the nonresidential sector.

In Nova Scotia, the decrease stemmed mainly from multifamily dwellings, which posted a significant increase the previous month.

In contrast, British Columbia recorded the largest advance, followed by Saskatchewan and Yukon. In British Columbia, the advance was attributable to higher construction intentions in the residential sector, particularly multifamily dwellings. In Saskatchewan, the increase came from commercial buildings and, to a lesser degree, institutional structures. In Yukon, higher construction intentions for commercial buildings, institutional buildings and multi-family dwellings were responsible for the gain.

The total value of building permits fell in 19 of the 34 census metropolitan areas in July, with Edmonton, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo and Montréal registering the largest declines.

In Edmonton, the decrease was mainly the result of lower intentions for institutional buildings and multi-family dwellings, while in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, all three nonresidential components were responsible for the decrease. In Montréal, the drop was attributable to lower construction intentions for multifamily dwellings, which had increased significantly the previous month.

Conversely, Vancouver posted the largest advance, mainly as a result of higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings as well as single-family dwellings and institutional buildings. Regina followed, with higher intentions for commercial buildings, multifamily dwellings and industrial buildings.

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