Contractors took out $5.6 billion worth of building permits in September, down 4.9% from August and the third consecutive monthly decline. Construction intentions fell in six provinces, led by British Columbia and Alberta.
The decline nationally was mainly attributable to lower construction intentions for both the residential and non-residential sectors in British Columbia, and the non-residential sector in Alberta. The value of permits increased in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.
Total value of permits
In the residential sector, the value of permits declined 1.0% to $3.6 billion, following a 6.0% drop in August. The value of permits declined in six provinces, led by British Columbia.
Non-residential sector: Institutional component posts second consecutive decline
In the institutional component, municipalities issued permits worth $368 million, down 40.8% from August and the second consecutive monthly decrease. This was the component's lowest level since January 2011. Institutional construction intentions fell in seven provinces. The largest decreases were in building permits for educational institutions in Ontario and British Columbia and medical facilities in Alberta.
The value of commercial building permits edged down 0.5% to $1.3 billion in September, after falling 19.6% the previous month. Lower construction intentions for a wide variety of commercial buildings in most provinces were behind the declines. However, the decreases were partly offset by combined gains in office buildings and recreational facilities, primarily in Ontario.
In the industrial component, the value of permits rose 2.3% to $388 million, following a 4.0% increase in August. September's advance came from five provinces, led by Ontario, where manufacturing plants and utilities buildings were behind most of the gains.
Residential sector: Intentions down for multi-family dwellings
Municipalities issued $1.4 billion worth of building permits for multi-family dwellings in September, down 2.5% from August and the second consecutive monthly decline. British Columbia accounted for much of the decrease, followed by Quebec. Increases were posted in four provinces, the largest of which was in Ontario.
The value of building permits for single-family dwellings edged down 0.1% to $2.2 billion, following a 4.0% decrease in August. Declines in the value of single-family dwelling permits in seven provinces, led by British Columbia and Nova Scotia, more than offset gains in Alberta, Quebec and Manitoba.
Municipalities across Canada approved the construction of 16,798 new dwellings in September, up 5.4% from August. The advance came mostly from multi-family dwellings, which rose 9.3% to 9,974 units. The number of single-family dwellings rose 0.2% to 6,824 units.
Permit values down in most provinces
The total value of building permits declined in six provinces in September, led by British Columbia and Alberta.
The largest decline in the value of building permits was in British Columbia. The drop was the result of lower construction intentions for both residential and non-residential sectors. In Alberta, the decline came from the non-residential sector and multi-family dwelling permits.
The largest increase in value occurred in Ontario. Gains in multi-family dwellings, industrial and commercial building permits in Ontario more than offset declines in the institutional component and single-family dwellings.
Lower permit values in half of the census metropolitan areas
The total value of permits fell in half of the 34 census metropolitan areas in September.
The largest decreases occurred in Vancouver, Oshawa and Calgary. In Vancouver, the decline came from residential, commercial and industrial building permits. Oshawa's drop was primarily the result of lower construction intentions for commercial buildings and, to a lesser extent, residential and institutional buildings.
In Calgary, the decline was attributable to non-residential and multi-family dwelling permits.
Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo, Toronto and Montréal posted the largest increases. In Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo, the advance was the result of higher construction intentions for all components except industrial buildings.
In Toronto, the gain came mainly from permits for multi-family dwellings and industrial buildings. The advance in Montréal originated from higher construction intentions for single-family dwellings and industrial buildings.