The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Canadian Building Permits Up 13.5% in June

Residential permits grew 0.4 percent; nonresidential increased 32.5 percent.

Canadian contractors took out building permits worth C$8 billion (US$7.3 billion) in June, up 13.5 percent from May. The June increase was mainly due to higher construction intentions for institutional and industrial buildings in Quebec and commercial buildings in Alberta.

The value of nonresidential building permits rose 32.5 percent to C$3.8 billion (US$3.5 billion) in June. Quebec was responsible for most of the growth at the national level. Declines were recorded in six provinces, with Manitoba and Ontario posting the largest decreases. Both provinces reported sharp gains in May.

In the residential sector, the value of permits edged up 0.4 percent to C$4.2 billion (US$3.8 billion). The gains observed in four provinces were mostly offset by declines in the other provinces. Ontario posted the largest advance, followed by Nova Scotia and Quebec. British Columbia had the largest decrease.

The value of building permits in the institutional component more than doubled to C$1.3 billion (US$1.2 billion) in June. Construction intentions for institutional buildings were up in four provinces. Quebec, which had the largest advance, posted a sharp increase in construction intentions for medical facilities.

In the industrial component, construction intentions rose 63.9 percent to C$744 million (US$681.2 million), up for a third consecutive month. The increase was mainly attributable to higher construction intentions for information technology buildings in Quebec and utilities buildings in Ontario.

Canadian municipalities issued C$1.8 billion (US$1.6 billion) worth of commercial building permits in June, 2.1 percent less than in May. The decline was a result of lower construction intentions in a variety of commercial buildings, including hotels and restaurants, warehouses and retail complexes. Declines were observed in seven provinces, with Ontario and Manitoba posting the largest decreases.

In contrast, Alberta, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador reported gains.

Municipalities issued C$2.4 billion (US$2.2 billion) worth of building permits for single-family dwellings in June, up 5.5 percent from May. Increases were reported in six provinces, led by Alberta, with Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia following.

Construction intentions for multi-family units fell 6 percent to C$1.7 billion (US$1.6 billion) in June. This decline came in the wake of three straight monthly increases and was mainly due to lower construction intentions in Western Canada. Conversely, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec posted gains.

At the national level, municipalities approved the construction of 16,770 new dwellings in June, down 4.6 percent from May. The decrease was mainly due to a 10.7 percent decline in multi-family units to 10,202. The number of single-family dwellings rose 6.9 percent to 6,568 units.

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