Canadian Building Permits Up 5.4% in January - Modern Distribution Management

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Canadian Building Permits Up 5.4% in January

Construction intentions rose in every component, particularly institutional buildings.

Canadian municipalities issued C$7.6 billion (US$5.6 billion) worth of building permits in January, up 5.4 percent from December, following two consecutive monthly decreases, according to Statistics Canada. Six provinces posted increases, led by Alberta and British Columbia. Nationally, construction intentions rose in every component, particularly institutional buildings.

Construction intentions in the non-residential sector rose 11.2 percent to C$2.5 billion (US$1.9 billion) in January, following a 10.3 percent decline in December. Every component increased, led by institutional buildings. Growth was registered in six provinces, with Alberta contributing the most to the gain. British Columbia was a distant second.

The value of building permits issued for institutional structures rose 19 percent to C$732 million (US$543.3 million) in January, the second increase in six months. The gain was mainly attributable to six provinces, led by Alberta, moderated by declines in Yukon and Ontario.

In January, the commercial component was up 6.8 percent to C$1.4 billion (US$1 billion), following two consecutive monthly declines. Gains were registered in seven provinces, most notably Alberta and British Columbia.

The industrial component increased 14.1 percent in January to C$422 million (US$313.2 million), the result of higher construction intentions in five provinces, particularly Ontario.

In the residential sector, municipalities issued C$5.1 billion (US$3.8 billion) worth of building permits in January, a 2.7 percent increase from the previous month. This marks the third time in four months where residential construction intentions exceeded C$5 billion (US$3.7 billion). Both multi-family and single-family dwellings posted gains in January. A large drop in Ontario was not sufficient to offset the gains in seven provinces, led by Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba.

Following two consecutive monthly declines, construction intentions for multi-family dwellings rose 3.6 percent to C$2.3 billion (US$1.7 billion) in January. Manitoba led the increase, followed by Alberta and British Columbia. The value of multi-family dwelling permits fell in Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Single-family construction intentions increased 1.9 percent in January to C$2.8 billion (US$2.1 billion). This marked the second-highest value on record for this component, and a fourth consecutive month exceeding C$2.7 billion (US$2 billion). Intentions were up in seven provinces, led by Alberta and British Columbia.

In January, municipalities approved the construction of 19,207 new dwellings (-3.1 percent), consisting of 12,148 multi-family units (-5.2 percent) and 7,059 single units (+0.8 percent).

The total value of building permits rose in six provinces in January. Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba posted the largest increases. Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick all registered higher construction intentions in every component.

In Alberta, the gain followed two consecutive monthly declines and mainly originated from institutional structures and single-family dwellings.

In British Columbia, higher intentions for residential buildings and commercial structures led the advance.

Manitoba posted a second consecutive monthly increase, largely attributable to record high intentions for multi-family dwellings, especially apartment-condominiums.

Conversely, the value of building permits issued in Ontario fell in January after three consecutive monthly increases. However, this was the seventh consecutive month where construction intentions in Ontario exceeded C$3 billion (US$2.2 billion). Lower construction intentions for residential buildings, particularly single-family dwellings, contributed the most to the decline.

Among the 36 census metropolitan areas in Canada (see note to readers), 20 posted increases in the value of building permits issued in January. Edmonton posted the largest advance, followed by Hamilton.

In Edmonton, institutional structures were largely responsible for the gain in January, up C$129 million (US$95.7 million) from the previous month. This was the second-highest value on record for institutional building permits in Edmonton.

The advance in Hamilton stemmed from higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings.

In contrast, Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo and Oshawa registered the largest declines in the value of building permits among the census metropolitan areas in January, after both posted notable gains in December. The decreases were mainly attributable to lower construction intentions for residential buildings.

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