April Building Permits Maintain Historic High

The total value of building permits remained at historically high levels in April 2021, edging down 0.5 per cent to $11.1 billion, following the record set in March, says Statistics Canada. The slight pullback was mainly due to declines in the residential sector in British Columbia and Quebec, which outweighed national gains in the non-residential sector. In the residential sector, the value of building permits fell 6.7 per cent to $7.7 billion in April. Despite the decrease, this was the second highest value on record. British Columbia (-23.7 per cent) and Quebec (-14.9 per cent) accounted for most of this decline. The value of building permits for multi-family dwellings dropped 6.5 per cent to $4.1 billion. Gains in Ontario and Alberta were not enough to offset decreases in British Columbia and Quebec, where several large permits had been issued (in both provinces) during the previous month. Eight provinces reported a decline in the value of permits issued for single-family dwellings, with the national total down seven per cent to $3.6 billion, mainly as a result of fewer new projects in Ontario and Quebec. Commercial permits surged 28.7 per cent to $1.9 billion in April and the value of institutional permits increased 23.1 per cent to $910 million, led by Quebec (+135.7 per cent), which rebounded from a 53.6 per cent drop the previous month. Overall, the value of building permits in the non-residential sector climbed 17.4 per cent to $3.4 billion.