Issue 16-111: Building Permits

June 9, 2016

The value of building permits issued by B.C. municipalities was up 3.8% (seasonally adjusted) in April, the first increase of 2016. The boost reflects a climb in the value of permits for both the non-residential (+8.2%) and residential (+2.5%) sectors. Industrial projects (+48.0%) posted the most significant increase, but planned activity for institutional and governmental (+36.7%) sector was also up notably. A 2.4% decline in the value of permits issued for commercial projects moderated the overall increase. A huge increase in the value of permits in Kelowna (+113.0%) was more than enough to offset the slips in Vancouver (-3.5%), where most building activity occurs, as well as Victoria (-5.8%) and Abbotsford-Mission (-10.1%).

Nationally, permits inched down 0.3%, with decreases in other provinces ranging from -14.3% in Ontario to -47.2% in Newfoundland and Labrador. New Brunswick (+104.8%) posted the most notable increase in April.

Regional Building Permits

During the first four months of 2016, the value of building permits issued in the province increased 5.1% over the same period of last year. Investment intentions were robust in most regions, with Cariboo (+102.4%) standing out in terms of growth. Less substantial increases were seen in other parts of the province, ranging from +0.0% in Mainland/Southwest to +25.3% in Thompson/Okanagan. Nechako (-10.2%), North Coast (-22.6%) and Northeast (-34.9%) were the only regions where building intentions slowed.

Data Source: Statistics Canada (Regional data produced by BC Stats from unpublished data)