Building permits decline in August; reversing the trend
Following three months of double-digit increases in the number of building permits issues by municipalities across Canada there was a drop in August. According to the latest data release from Statistics Canada the decline was mainly the result of lower construction intentions for non-residential buildings in Quebec and residential buildings in Ontario. After five consecutive monthly advances, the total value of permits in the residential sector declined 15.9 per cent in August to $4.2 billion. The largest decreases were registered in Ontario, followed by British Columbia and the Atlantic provinces. Gains were recorded in four provinces, led by Alberta. Building permits for multi-family dwellings decreased 28.6 per cent in August to $1.8 billion, following a 42.8 per cent increase in July. Decreases were reported in six provinces, led by Ontario, with British Columbia a distant second. Alberta and Saskatchewan registered the largest increases. Multi-family dwellings saw the biggest downturn, dipping 28.6 per cent after an increase of more than 40 per cent in July. In the non-residential sector, the total value of building permits decreased 40.6 per cent to $2.5 billion in August, following four consecutive monthly gains. Lower construction intentions were posted in seven provinces, with Quebec contributing most to the national decline.