Canadian municipalities were busy approving new residential projects, specifically condos, in March. According to Statistics Canada data released Thursday, communities authorized the construction of 18,586 new dwellings, up 24.9 per cent from February. The multi-family sector was behind the surge with 13,126 units approved for construction, a 43.7 per cent spike over the previous month. It’s a stark contrast to single-family homes, which saw 5,460 units authorized, a 5 per cent decline from February.
Altogether, the value of residential building permits in Canada rose to $4.4 billion in March, up 6.6 per cent from the previous month. The rise in permits in Ontario and British Columbia made up for the decreases in Quebec, Alberta and three other provinces.
The overall boost in values was largely driven by the multi-family sector, which saw a monthly increase of 19.6 per cent, bringing the value of building permits up to $2.1 billion in March. The value was up in four provinces with Ontario and British Columbia leading the way. The biggest month-to-month declines were recorded in Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Nation-wide, the value of building permits for single-family homes saw month-to-month growth, rising 3.4 per cent in March. The large drop seen in Alberta pulled down the gains seen in five provinces, including the big increases in Ontario and Quebec.
For both the residential and non-residential sectors, the total value of permits rose in 19 of the 34 census metropolitan areas studied with Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary leading the pack. On a national level, the total value of building permits for both sectors was up 11.6 per cent from February, reaching $6.9 billion in March. This was the first increase in three months.