However, intentions remained robust on a quarterly basis
The total value of building permits nationwide fell by 1.9% to $11.2 billion in December, with declines reported in both the residential and non-residential sectors, according to Statistics Canada.
Residential permits saw a collective decrease of 2.7% to $7.7 billion following a strong 13.3% increase in November, with multi-family permit values dropping by 6% to $4.1 billion. British Columbia accounted for much of this downward trend, with its 20.3% drop reversing November’s gain.
Commercial permits fell by 7.9% to $1.9 billion in December, with Alberta’s 55.6% drop accounting for much of the decline. Industrial intentions grew by 8.4% to $762 million, with a $46 million aluminium mining building renovation permit in Quebec (up by 49.9%) carrying the segment.
The overall value of non-residential permits remained essentially static at $3.4 billion, StatCan said.
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However, despite the December weakness, the total value of building permits reached a new record high of $33.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021 (up by 10.3%), outstripping the previous record of $31.5 billion established in Q1 2021.
Residential intentions grew by 11.9% to reach a record $22.7 billion in Q4 2021, “contributing almost four-fifths of the overall total building permit value increase,” StatCan said. “Both permit values for multi-family and single family components rose strongly compared with the third quarter, with the multi-family component exceeding $12 billion for the first time.”
Non-residential permit values also grew by 7% to $10.4 billion in the fourth quarter, just 2.3% below the pre-pandemic peak set in Q4 2019. Commercial permits increased by 9.9% to $5.9 billion, while institutional permits were up by 3.1% and industrial permits rose by 4%.