Value of Canadian building permits up 20.2 percent in May

Monday, 29 June 2020 19:09:38 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

According to Statistics Canada, the total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities in May bounced back 20.2 percent to $7.4 billion, following declines of 13.4 percent in March and 15.4 percent in April. This was the largest percentage increase since March 2009, and it coincided with the relaxing of COVID-19 construction restrictions in Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. The May level is still 20.4 percent below the last peak observed in January 2020.

The total value of residential permits was up in six provinces in May, increasing 18.7 percent to $4.8 billion nationally. The largest increase was in Quebec, up 53.4 percent for the month. On April 20, Quebec reopened residential construction to be delivered by July 31; the remainder of the construction sector was reopened on May 11.

The vast majority of residential gains were attributable to increases in the value of permits for single-family homes, which rose by a record $518 million (+37.5 percent), following a drop of 34.6 percent in April. Seven provinces reported gains, led by Ontario and Quebec.

The value of permits for multi-family dwellings increased 9.0 percent to $2.9 billion, driven by projects in the Montréal and Vancouver census metropolitan areas (CMAs).

The value of commercial permits was up 20.8 percent to $1.5 billion in May, with the largest increases reported in Ontario (+26.3 percent) and Quebec (+147.8 percent).

Industrial permits jumped 57.6 percent to $600 million, following a substantial decrease in April. This increase was largely driven by a permit for a Molson brewery in the CMA of Montréal.

Institutional permits posted their first gain for 2020, increasing 2.8 percent to $544 million. Permits for postsecondary institutions led the increase.

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