Canadian Building Permits Decline 18.8% Month-Over-Month in April

Statistics Canada (StatCan) reported Tuesday (6-6-23) that the total monthly value of building permits in Canada declined 18.8% to $9.6 billion (CAD) in April. This is the lowest level since December 2020. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), the total value of building permits dropped 18.5% to $5.6 billion in April 2023.

The total monthly value of residential permits in Canada declined 6.1% to $6.1 billion in April, posting a loss for the second consecutive month. Declines were reported for both the single-family and multi-dwelling components. Eight provinces reporting declines. British Columbia and Saskatchewan were the two provinces that posted monthly residential construction increases—up 2.6% and 45.0%, respectively.

Following a record high in March, the total monthly value on non-residential permits declined 34.6% to $3.4 billion in April. Declines were observed across all components but were most evident in commercial permits which fell 40.2% to $1.1 billion and industrial permits which declined 49.6% to $663.8 million.

StatCan reports that on a seasonally unadjusted basis, the average commercial permit value was $433,000 in April, compared to $901,000 in March. The average industrial permit value of $413,000 in April was down from $1.7 million in March. The significantly lower average permit values show that the monthly declines in April are attributable to exceptionally high volumes of large-scale projects in March.

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