Value of Canadian Building Permits Hit $10B for the First Time in February

For the first time ever, the total value of building permits in Canada exceeded the $10 billion mark in February, as an increase in the non-residential sector significantly offset the decline in the residential sector.

According to data compiled by Statistics Canada, the total value of building permits rose to $10.2 billion in February, marking an increase of 2.1% from the month prior. The non-residential sector increased by 14.2% to $3.3 billion, as all components posted growth. Despite the significant increase, however, the level remained approximately 13% below the peak recorded in April 2019.

Institutional permits rose by the most since June of last year, with the total for this component increasing by $226 million to $1 billion, as new building permits for long-term care facilities and a hospice were issued. The commercial component increased by 11.4% to $1.7 billion— the highest value for building permits since September 2020. The majority of the increase was the result of high-value permits for renovations and additions on commercial buildings in Ontario and Alberta. The number of permits issued by municipalities totalled $544 million in February, up by 1.9% since the prior month.

In the meantime, residential construction permits tumbled in February, as gains in British Columbia were unable to offset declines in Alberta and Ontario. According to Statistics Canada, construction permits fell by 2.9% to $6.8 billion in February, following a record-high in January. Building permits for single-family homes fell by 1% to $3.5 billion, but still remained high relative to historical levels.

Between January 2018 and December 2020, the value of multi-family building permits surpassed that of single-family homes. However, that trend quickly reversed following the onset of the pandemic, as Canadians that were able to work remotely entered the housing market in search of more spacious homes in rural and suburban areas.

Information for this briefing was found via Statistics Canada. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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