building permits canada

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Canadian communities issued $6.9 billion worth of building permits in May, an impressive 13.8 per cent increase from April. Though Statistics Canada pointed to commercial buildings as being the main reason for the surge, the residential market still saw a rise in month-to-month activity.

For non-residential buildings, the value of permits rose 20.8 per cent to $2.8 billion. Home building still makes up the lion’s share of construction intentions: permits for homes rose 9.5 per cent to $4.1 billion in May, the third consecutive monthly increase.

Here’s how building permit activity in Canada’s home sector breaks down. In May, communities gave the green light to a total of 17,415 new dwellings, up 11.8 per cent from April.

Multi-family dwellings were the engine of the increase, rising by 17.3 per cent to 11,330 units. Altogether, they accounted for $1.9 billion worth of construction permits in May, a 16.1 per cent jump and the third consecutive monthly advance.

Geographically, the West led construction intentions with permits for apartments and condos in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan making up for a significant amount of the gain. Nova Scotia, Quebec and Prince Edward Island all saw declines.

Single-family dwellings saw a more modest increase in building permits, with a 2.8 per cent boost to 6,085 units. The total value of building permits for single-family dwellings rose 4.6 per cent to $2.3 billion in May, the second consecutive monthly increase. Eight provinces saw increases, with Ontario recording the largest gain and British Columbia and Saskatchewan registering declines.

Overall, intentions were up in May for 23 of the 34 census metropolitan areas studied by the agency. Toronto saw the biggest surges, thanks in large part to commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings. Vancouver followed, with a boost in construction intentions for multi-family dwellings, while Winnipeg witnessed an increase in commercial building activity.

London, Hamilton and Quebec City saw the largest declines in the total value of building permits.

For more details check out the charts below:

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