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Building permits, September 2012

Building permits, September 2012

The total value of building permits fell 13.2% to $6.5 billion in September, following a 9.5% advance in August. The decline was mainly the result of the non-residential sector, where the value of permits in all three components fell.

Construction intentions in the non-residential sector declined 30.8% to $2.2 billion after a 27.7% increase in August. Ontario and Quebec accounted for most of the decline at the national level. Non-residential construction intentions rose in four provinces, led by British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

In the residential sector, the value of permits edged up 0.4% to $4.2 billion, following two consecutive monthly decreases. Increases reported in four provinces offset declines in the others. Ontario posted the largest advance, followed by Quebec. The largest decline occurred in Alberta, with Newfoundland and Labrador a distant second.

Non-residential sector: Declines in all three components

The value of permits in the institutional component fell 44.5% to $586 million, after more than doubling in August. The main factors in the decline were lower construction intentions for medical facilities and educational institutions in Ontario and for government buildings in Quebec. Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Alberta posted increases.

Municipalities issued $320 million worth of permits for industrial buildings, a 52.1% drop from the previous month following three consecutive monthly increases. The decline was largely attributable to lower construction intentions for utilities-related buildings and manufacturing plants in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

In the commercial component, the value of permits fell 11.8% to $1.3 billion, the second consecutive monthly decline. The decline originated from a variety of structures, including retail and wholesale outlets, office buildings, recreational facilities, warehouses, hotels and restaurants, and laboratories. Commercial construction intentions were down in six provinces, with Ontario posting the largest decrease, followed by Saskatchewan, Alberta and Quebec.

Residential sector: Increase in single-family dwellings offsets decline in multi-family dwellings

The value of permits for single-family dwellings advanced 3.4% to $2.5 billion, after two consecutive monthly declines. The increase was the result of higher construction intentions in four provinces. Ontario posted the largest gain, followed by British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Alberta registered the largest decrease.

Construction intentions for multi-family dwellings declined 3.8% to $1.7 billion, the third monthly decrease in a row. It was largely the result of lower construction intentions in Alberta, which had recorded a significant increase in August. Construction intentions also fell in five other provinces, including British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick.

Municipalities across Canada issued permits for the construction of 17,341 new dwellings in September, down 9.1% from the previous month.

The decline was the result of a 16.3% drop in multi-family dwellings to 9,935 units. The number of single-family dwellings rose 2.7% to 7,406 new units.

Declines in most provinces

The total value of permits fell in seven provinces in September, with the largest declines in Ontario and Alberta. Decreases also occurred in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island.

Following a strong gain in August, Ontario posted the largest decline in September, a result of lower construction intentions for non-residential buildings. In Alberta, the decrease was largely attributable to lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and for commercial and industrial buildings. The decrease in Quebec originated largely from all three components of the non-residential sector.

British Columbia posted the largest increase, followed by Nova Scotia and Manitoba. The advance in British Columbia came from commercial buildings and single-family dwellings. Nova Scotia's gain was the result of higher construction intentions for institutional structures, multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings. In Manitoba, residential homes, commercial buildings and industrial construction were behind the increase.

Most census metropolitan areas post decreases

The total value of permits fell in 23 of Canada's 34 census metropolitan areas in September.

Hamilton, Toronto and Calgary posted the largest decreases. In Hamilton, the decline was attributable to industrial buildings, multi-family dwellings and institutional buildings, all of which had posted gains the previous month.

The decrease in Toronto originated from non-residential buildings. In Calgary, the decline was the result of lower construction intentions for non-residential buildings and multi-family dwellings.

The largest increases occurred in Vancouver, Victoria and Saskatoon. The gain in Vancouver came from higher construction intentions for commercial buildings and, to a lesser extent, for single homes and industrial buildings.

Victoria's increase was the result of higher construction intentions for commercial and residential buildings. Institutional buildings and single-family dwellings were behind the advance in Saskatoon.

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Québec Landlords Association (1)

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