Building permits (November 2011)

Published on by Association des Propriétaires du Québec

Topic(s): Real estate

Source: Statistics Canada

Building permits (November 2011)

The total value of building permits decreased 3.6% to $6.1 billion in November, following an 11.6% increase in October. A decline in the non-residential sector, particularly in Ontario, more than offset gains in the value of residential permits.

Total value of permits

Contractors took out $2.2 billion of permits in the non-residential sector, down 17.6%, following a 31.9% increase the previous month. Non-residential construction intentions declined in six provinces, with Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta accounting for most of the drop.

In the residential sector, the permit values rose 6.9% to $3.9 billion following three consecutive monthly declines. The advance was attributable to higher construction intentions in eight provinces, led by British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Non-residential sector: Declines in all three components

The value of institutional permits declined 34.1% to $692 million, following an increase of 178.8% in October. Ontario posted the largest decline among the five provinces that registered decreases. Ontario's decline came from lower construction intentions, particularly for medical facilities and government buildings, which had recorded significant gains the previous month.

Municipalities issued industrial permits worth $439 million, down 12.3% from October. This drop followed three consecutive monthly rises. The largest declines were in permits for manufacturing plants in Quebec and utilities buildings in Alberta and Manitoba. Ontario recorded the largest increases as a result of higher construction intentions for transportation and utilities buildings.

Commercial building intentions declined for a second consecutive month, falling 5.1% to $1.1 billion. Gains reported in seven provinces were not enough to offset decreases in Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick. Ontario posted the largest decline as a result of lower construction intentions, mostly for retail stores and recreational facilities.

Residential and non-residential sectors

Residential sector: Higher intentions for both single- and multi-family dwellings

The value of building permits for single-family dwellings rose 8.2% to $2.4 billion, after posting slight changes during the three previous months. The advance was attributable to higher construction intentions in seven provinces, led by Ontario.

After three consecutive monthly declines, multi-family dwelling permits increased 5.0% to $1.5 billion. Gains in five provinces were behind the increase, with British Columbia posting the largest advance, followed by Nova Scotia and Quebec.

Nationally, municipalities approved the construction of 16,895 new dwellings, up 5.8% from October. The increase came from both single-family dwellings, which increased 6.2% to 7,199 units, and multi-family dwellings, which rose 5.5% to 9,696 units.

Provinces: Ontario posts the biggest drop

In November, the value of building permits decreased in six provinces, led by Ontario, followed by Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The declines in Ontario originated from lower construction intentions for institutional and commercial buildings, as well as multi-family dwellings. In Alberta, the drop was particularly attributable to institutional and industrial buildings, and single-family dwellings. Newfoundland and Labrador's decrease was mainly the result of lower construction intentions for commercial buildings.

On the other hand, British Columbia recorded the largest increase as a result of gains in the residential sector as well as in the institutional and commercial buildings. Nova Scotia followed with increases in both residential and non-residential sectors.

Permits up in just over half of census metropolitan areas

The total value of permits rose in 18 of the 34 census metropolitan areas.

Vancouver, Ottawa and Québec posted the largest increases. In Vancouver, construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and institutional buildings accounted for most of the advance. Higher intentions for commercial buildings were largely behind the gains in Ottawa, while multi-family dwellings mostly explained the increase in Québec.

In contrast, London and Montréal recorded the largest decreases. London's drop was the result of lower construction intentions for institutional and commercial buildings, which had recorded notable increases the previous month. In Montréal, the decline was attributable to both the residential and non-residential sectors.

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