Building permits issued by Canadian municipalities saw an increase in November, the latest month of data available.
But new homes are not the intention with residential permits declining 2.5% to $5.0 billion, while non-residential permits increased 3.3% to $3.3 billion.
The decline for home building intentions was seen across five provinces led by Ontario which posted an 8.1% decrease in single-family permits to $930 million – the lowest since January 2016 – and a $232 million decline in multifamily intentions.
Quebec saw the largest rise overall, including a $204 million gain for multifamily permits.
Single-family permits nationwide totaled $2.2 billion in November, a 5.5% decrease after increasing 4.7% the previous month. Multifamily permits totaled $2.9 billion, down 0.1% from October.
Municipalities approved the construction of 19,378 new dwellings (-3.1%), consisting of 4,725 single-family units (-7.0%) and 14,653 multi-family units (-1.8%).
Commercial buildings led the gains
In the non-residential sector, it was commercial properties that led the rise in permits.
This segment posted a 16.8% increase to $2.1 billion, the highest level since May 2007. Office buildings in the Vancouver and Quebec CMAs were the largest driver of this rise.
The value of industrial building permits rose 21.9% to $527 million in November, snapping three monthly declines. The increase was mainly attributable to permits for new agricultural buildings.
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