StatCan releases latest building permit figures

A significant increase was recorded, although not on the residential side

StatCan releases latest building permit figures

The total monthly value of new building permits in Canada grew by 11.3% in March to reach $11.8 billion, according to the national statistics agency.

This is despite residential construction intentions essentially stalling, reversing the promising upward trend seen in February. The value of new residential permits ticked down by 0.9% to $6.6 billion in March, latest data from Statistics Canada showed.

The most substantial gains in residential permit values were seen in British Columbia (up by 30.9%, representing an increase of $321.9 million) and in the Atlantic provinces (collectively up by 14%, representing an increase of $39.5 million).

However, the growth was counteracted by declines in five provinces, StatCan said. Ontario’s 8.1% drop amounting to a $246.6 million loss was the greatest drag to Canada’s residential permit values in March, while Saskatchewan’s 27% decline representing a $12.7 million loss was the largest proportional downturn of the month.

Much of the March growth in building permit values stemmed from the non-residential sector, which saw a 32% increase to reach a record high of $5.2 billion.

StatCan attributed this strength to 10 individual non-residential projects each valued at more than $100 million, the largest of which was the $570-million new General Motors and POSCO Chemical cathode active materials facility in Bécancour, Quebec. This alone spurred the value of industrial building permits by 16.7%.

“This project is linked to the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy, for which further major investments in industrial projects are anticipated,” StatCan said.

Substantial gains were also registered in commercial (up by 41.5%) and institutional (up by 29.5%) permits.