Builders are intending to build fewer homes in the months ahead

By Steve Randall

There was a drop in the value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities in June.

Statistics Canada says that the total value of permits was $8 billion, down 3.7% from the previous month, led by a decrease for multi-family and institutional units.

Alberta accounted for more than a third of the national decrease but five other provinces also posted declines. Nova Scotia was the leading province for increased permit issuance, up 32.1% month-over-month, mostly due to increases in both residential and commercial permits in Halifax.

In the residential sector nationally, the multifamily sector was down 6.7% to $2.6 billion, led by Quebec where permits were down 21.8% following a 16.9% gain in May.

Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+$82 million) and Kelowna (+$61 million) were among the CMAs posting increases.

Commercial permits decreased 1.1% to $1.9 billion, largely due to declines in British Columbia and Alberta.

Quarterly stats

On a quarterly basis, $25.8 billion of permits were issued in the second quarter, up 5.8% from the previous quarter and up 4.1% compared with the same quarter in 2018.

On a year-over-year basis, a 1.0% decline in the value of permits in the residential sector was offset by increased construction intentions in all three components of the non-residential sector.

BC led the gains across seven provinces with a 22% increase to $5.6 billion. This was largely down to a spike in permits issued in Metro Vancouver in April ahead of higher construction charges that were introduced in May.

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