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Canadian Building Permits Increase 7.3 Percent in August; Nonresidential Jumps 25.2 Percent
Contractors took out building permits worth $7.3 billion in August, a 7.9 percent increase, following a 2.8 percent decline in July. The increase in August originated from higher construction intentions in the nonresidential sector, which more than offset a decrease in the residential sector.
Total value of permits
Chart description: Total value of permits
The value of permits in the nonresidential sector increased 25.2 percent from July to $3.2 billion, the highest level in almost four years. The increase followed two consecutive monthly declines and was the result of higher construction intentions in seven provinces, led by Ontario.
In the residential sector, the value of permits fell 2.3 percent from July to $4.2 billion. This was the second consecutive monthly decline. The decrease was mainly attributable to lower construction intentions in British Columbia and Ontario. Declines were also posted in three other provinces. The largest gains were in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Nonresidential sector: Increases in the institutional and industrial components
The value of permits in the institutional component more than doubled in August to $1.1 billion, the highest level since March 2011. This increase followed two consecutive monthly declines. Construction intentions for institutional buildings rose in eight provinces. Ontario, which posted the largest gain, reported higher construction intentions for medical facilities, educational institutions and nursing homes.
In the industrial component, the value of permits increased for the third consecutive month, rising 26.2 percent to $638 million. The advance was primarily the result of higher construction intentions for utilities buildings and manufacturing plants in Ontario. Construction intentions also rose in five other provinces, including Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan.
Municipalities issued $1.5 billion worth of permits for commercial buildings, down 8.5 percent following two months of growth. The drop was attributable to lower construction intentions for a variety of commercial buildings in seven provinces, including retail outlets, office buildings, recreational facilities and university residences.
Residential and nonresidential sectors
Chart description: Residential and non-residential sectors
Residential sector: Declines in both multifamily and single-family dwellings
The value of permits for single-family dwellings declined 2.3 percent to $2.4 billion, the second straight monthly decrease. The decline was the result of lower construction intentions in six provinces, with Ontario posting the largest decline followed by British Columbia.
Construction intentions for multifamily dwellings fell for a second consecutive month, declining 2.3 percent to $1.8 billion. Of the five provinces that registered decreases, the largest occurred in British Columbia and Ontario. Strong gains in Alberta and Saskatchewan failed to offset these decreases.
Municipalities across Canada issued permits for the construction of 18,655 new dwellings, down 1.8 percent from July. The decline was attributable to both single-family dwellings, which declined 2.0 percent to 7,111 units and multifamily dwellings, which fell 1.8 percent to 11,544 units.
Increases in most provinces
The value of building permits increased in six provinces in August, with Ontario and Alberta posting the largest gains.
Ontario registered the largest advance as a result of higher construction intentions for institutional and industrial buildings. In Alberta, the gain came from multifamily dwellings, institutional and commercial buildings.
In Saskatchewan, the increase was attributable to both residential and nonresidential buildings, while in Quebec, institutional buildings explained most of the growth.
British Columbia posted the largest decline, a result of lower construction intentions for residential and commercial buildings. Nova Scotia's drop came mostly from commercial and multifamily dwellings. Manitoba and Prince Edward Island also recorded decreases.
Most census metropolitan areas post gains
In August, the total value of permits rose in 21 of the 34 census metropolitan areas.
The largest increases occurred in Hamilton, Edmonton and Calgary. In Hamilton, the gain was the result of higher construction intentions for industrial and institutional buildings as well as multifamily dwellings.
In Edmonton, the advance was primarily attributable to commercial buildings and mult-family dwellings. In Calgary, the increase was the result of higher construction intentions for multifamily dwellings and, to a lesser extent, institutional buildings.
Vancouver and Montréal registered the largest declines; both had posted the largest increases in July. In Vancouver, the decrease was attributable to multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings, while in Montréal, it was attributable to multifamily dwellings.
Article Date: 2012-10-08
Source: Statistics Canada
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