Housing permits fall for first time in 3 months

The value of building permits issued has declined for the first time in three months as both residential and non-residential intentions slipped.

The newly-released figures from Statistics Canada for November 2017 show a 7.7% month-over-month decline overall to $7.7 billion permits issued by Canadian municipalities.

The decline was due to a 12.3% drop in non-residential construction intentions ($2.9 billion) and a 10.1% decline in multifamily building permits ($2.2 billion).

Residential permits were down 4.6% overall, with single-family little changed from the previous month, up 0.6% to $2.6 billion, roughly in line with the rest of 2017.

Year-over-year the value of all permits was up 1.3%; down 5.1% for residential (single-family down 6.2%, multifamily down 3.7%); and up 13.8% for non-residential.

By volume of homes, the figures show a 10.8% drop year-over-year and 6.8% month-over-month. Single-family permits were issued for 5,790 units, up 2.4% m-o-m but down 10.3% y-o-y. Multifamily permits were issued for 11,310 units, down 11% from the previous month and from a year earlier.

Toronto saw an 18.8% rise in permits issued in November to $1 billion with multifamily up 30.1% ($532.4 million) and single-family up 8.6% ($496.3 million).

Vancouver’s permits declined 21% to $408.9 million with a 29.5% drop for multifamily ($260.3 million) and a 0.2% rise for single-family ($148.6 million).

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