Non-residential Drives Down Building Permits

The total value of building permits in Canada decreased 9.3 per cent in March to $11.7 billion, mainly due to the non-residential sector (-29.5 per cent to $3.7 billion), says Statistics Canada, as two large hospital permits issued in February pushed that month's total to a record high. Residential permits in March increased 4.7 per cent to $7.9 billion nationally. Construction intentions for single family homes were up 3.3 per cent, reaching the highest value since March 2021, with Ontario registering the largest gain (+12 per cent). The value of multi-family building permits rose six per cent nationally. The total value of non-residential sector permits fell 29.5 per cent in March, largely due to the institutional component (-58.5 per cent) returning to more normal levels after two large hospital permits were issued in February. Commercial building intentions in March saw a 7.2 per cent decline, while industrial construction (+2.8 per cent) was the only component to post an increase. The total value of building permits in the first quarter of 2022 increased 5.3 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2021, to $34.9 billion.