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Building permits, February 2014

Building permits, February 2014

Municipalities issued building permits worth $6.1 billion in February, down 11.6% from January. This decrease followed an 8.1% gain the previous month and was mainly driven by lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in all provinces.

Construction intentions for residential buildings declined 21.0% to $3.6 billion, following a 26.1% increase the previous month. This was the third decline in four months. Lower residential construction intentions were recorded in every province, except Prince Edward Island. Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia registered the largest decreases.

In the non-residential sector, the value of building permits rose 6.6% to $2.5 billion in February, following a 15.4% decrease the previous month. Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec were responsible for most of the growth at the national level, while declines were recorded in Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

Residential sector: Construction intentions down for both multi-family and single-family dwellings

The value of building permits for multi-family dwellings decreased 31.5% to $1.5 billion in February, the third decline in four months. Declines were reported in all provinces, with Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta posting the largest decreases.

Construction intentions for single-family dwellings fell 12.0% to $2.2 billion in February, following a 14.0% increase in January. Construction intentions fell in six provinces, with Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia accounting for most of the decline at the national level.

Canadian municipalities approved the construction of 14,011 new dwellings in February, down 23.8% from January. The decrease in February was the result of a 29.3% decline in multi-family dwellings to 8,289 units and a 14.3% decline in single-family dwellings to 5,722 units.

Non-residential sector: Gains in the institutional and industrial components

Canadian municipalities issued $673 million worth of institutional building permits in February, up 14.9% from January. Gains in four provinces, led by Ontario, more than offset declines in the remaining provinces. The increase in Ontario came mainly from medical facilities. Alberta registered the largest decrease as a result of lower construction intentions for medical facilities, educational institutions and government buildings.

In the industrial component, the value of permits rose 26.8% to $348 million in February, following a 44.5% decrease in the previous month. This increase was the result of higher construction intentions for mining and primary industry buildings in Quebec, as well as manufacturing plants in Alberta and Quebec. Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia posted the largest decreases.

Following a 14.5% advance in January, Canadian municipalities issued $1.5 billion worth of commercial building permits in February, down 0.3% from the previous month. The decrease came from a variety of commercial buildings, including hotels and restaurants as well as service stations. Declines in four provinces, led by Ontario and Manitoba, offset increases in the other provinces. British Columbia recorded the largest gain, followed by New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.

Provinces: Large declines in Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia

The value of permits was down in seven provinces in February. The largest decrease occurred in Alberta and was mainly the result of lower construction intentions for residential and institutional buildings. In Quebec, the monthly decrease was attributable to multi-family dwellings, while lower construction intentions for residential and institutional buildings were the reason for the decline in British Columbia.

The largest increase occurred in Ontario, where institutional building intentions were responsible for the growth. Prince Edward Island was a distant second, followed by New Brunswick. Institutional building and single-family construction intentions contributed to the advance in Prince Edward Island, while commercial buildings and single-family dwellings were responsible for the gain in New Brunswick.

Lower construction intentions in more than half of the census metropolitan areas

In February, the total value of permits was down in 20 of the 34 census metropolitan areas.

The largest decrease was in Toronto, followed by Edmonton and Montréal. In Toronto, the decrease was principally attributable to residential buildings and, to a lesser extent, commercial buildings. Lower intentions in all components explained the decline in Edmonton. In Montréal, multi-family dwellings were behind most of the decrease.

Kingston recorded the largest increase in February, followed by Ottawa. The value of permits issued in Kingston rose largely as a result of higher construction intentions for institutional buildings, while in Ottawa, multi-family dwellings and, to a lesser extent, institutional buildings were responsible for the increase.

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Québec Landlords Association

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