Commercial market bolsters building permit hike

by Olivia D'Orazio07 Jul 2014
The 13.8 per cent rise in the value of building permits that was recorded in May can be attributed to higher construction intentions for commercial buildings, according to a report from Statistics Canada.

Jeremie Bennett, an analyst with Statistics Canada, said often a single construction project, like a large airport, can impact the results nationwide. However, this year, that wasn’t the case.

“Commercial buildings included different types: retail complexes, offices, hotels,” Bennett tells REP. “We get the permits in as they come in, and the ones with the largest amounts will contribute to the increase.”

In May, the value of non-residential building permits rose 20.8 per cent to $2.8 billion – the largest monthly gain since July 2013. Ontario and Manitoba led those increases, while Quebec, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia posted declines following increases in all three provinces in April.

Permits for commercial buildings – including warehouses, retail complexes, recreational facilities, hotels and restaurants – rose 39.4 per cent to $1.8 billion, again with Ontario and Manitoba registering the largest advances.
The value of industrial permits, which include manufacturing plants, rose 22.4 per cent to $441 million, while the value of institutional permits – including government buildings, hospitals and educational institutions – fell 16.6 per cent to $555 million.

The value of residential building permits – which Bennett says includes permits for renovations and additions – rose 9.5 per cent over April, to $4.1 billion. Construction intentions for multi-family dwellings, like apartments and condominiums, rose 16.1 per cent to $1.9 billion as increases in the western provinces offset declines in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. Building permits for single-family homes increased 4.6 per cent to $2.3 billion, led by large gains in Ontario.

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