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Canadian building permit value grows to $10.3 billion in June

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Construction intentions for the non-residential sector were up 2.2 percent to $3.1 billion in June.

The total value of building permits across Canada rose 6.9 percent to $10.3 billion in June. Seven provinces contributed to the gain, led by Ontario, which jumped 22.7 percent. Construction intentions in the residential sector were up 9.1 percent, while the non-residential sector advanced 2.2 percent.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), building permits increased 5.2 percent to $7.2 billion.

Ontario residential permits bounce back

High-value permits for new apartment buildings in the census metropolitan areas (CMA) of Toronto and Hamilton helped push multi-family permits up 13.5 percent to $3.7 billion nationally in June. Provincially, Ontario led the way, rebounding 67.8 percent to $1.8 billion. On the other hand, Quebec reported the largest decrease (-29.9 percent), pulling back from a record high in May.

Construction intentions for single-family dwellings increased 4.7 percent to $3.4 billion. Seven provinces saw gains in this component, led by Ontario and Alberta.

Overall, the value of residential building permits increased 9.1 percent to $7.2 billion, following two months of lower construction intentions.

Non-residential permits up slightly

Construction intentions for the non-residential sector were up 2.2 percent to $3.1 billion in June. Gains were reported in eight provinces, led by Alberta (+32.7 percent).

The value of commercial permits rose 7.4 percent to $1.7 billion. High-value permits, such as the Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre in the city of Lethbridge and an office building in the city of Vaughan, helped Alberta (+54.8 percent) and Ontario (+16.2 percent) to lead this component. Newfoundland and Labrador, down 92.5 percent, returned to more typical levels following a strong May.

Industrial permits increased 2.3 percent to $526 million. Six provinces showed increases, led by Ontario (+37.8 percent), while Quebec reported the largest decrease (-32.9 percent).

The institutional component was down in June, falling 6.7 percent to $871 million, as Ontario's notable decrease (-37.7 percent) drew down the national level. Meanwhile, Quebec surged 38.4 percent to $359 million, as several permits issued for alternative care and senior citizen residences coincided with an initiative from the government of Quebec to increase the number of beds.

Residential permits pull down second-quarter intentions

Total building permits declined 1.7 percent to $31.0 billion in the second quarter of 2021 compared with the previous period. Despite this, the value of building permits remained the second highest on record and was 38.5 percent above the same quarter in 2020, which was heavily impacted by COVID-19 restrictions in the construction industry.

The value of permits for the residential sector fell 4.2 percent to $21.4 billion in the second quarter. Permits for both multi-family and single-family dwellings dropped, with seven provinces reporting decreases.

Construction intentions in the non-residential sector rose 4.5 percent to $9.6 billion. Although second-quarter values exceeded the values in the first quarter of 2020, non-residential permits remained below the quarterly levels of 2019. Among the non-residential components, institutional permits increased for a fourth consecutive quarter, boosted by large projects in the education and health care sectors.

June 2021 Canadian building permits infographic.

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