Residential permits bounce back in November

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On the heels of three straight months of mild declines, residential building permit values made up for ground lost in November with a 6.9% gain over the previous month, according to figures released by Statistics Canada.

The seasonally-adjusted $6.1 million in residential permits was 23.2% higher than a year earlier. The gain was led by a recent surge in single-family homes, up 8.2% from October and up 14.8% from a year earlier.

Permit values for multiple units were up a lesser 5% from October, but 2011 remained an exceptionally strong year for that sector with November’s permit total rising to 39.6% higher than a year ago.

Overall, however, Statistics Canada reported a 3.6% decline in all building permits, due to non-residential permits being down 17.6% in November from October, and down 5.7% from a year ago.

The biggest monthly factor in the decline was a 34.1% drop in institutional building permits, while commercial permits remained the bottom performer of any sector for 2011, down 14.4% from a year earlier.

There were plenty of exceptions within individual cities, however. Toronto has seen overall permit values gain 44.4% in November from last year. Vancouver topped all municipalities, up 97.1%, followed by 95.5% in Thunder Bay.

On the other end of the spectrum, Kingston’s overall permit values were down 70.3% from last year, followed by Abbotsford-Mission, down 66.1%, and Victoria, down 64.1%.

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