Issue 16-71: Building Permits

April 7, 2016

The value of building permits issued by municipalities in B.C. totalled nearly $1.2 billion in February, down 1.2% (seasonally adjusted) from the previous month. Non-residential permits jumped 17.1%, but planned spending slowed in the residential sector (-8.3%). While construction intentions surged in Victoria (+94.3%), permits declined in the province’s other major urban centres. Nationally, P.E.I. led the country in growth, with a 104.6% spike in the value of building permits in February, but six other provinces also posted increases. Overall strength was moderated only slightly by declines in B.C. and some Atlantic provinces, such that the value of Canadian building permits climbed 15.5% in February.

Regional Building Permits

During the first two months of 2016, the value of building permits issued in the province was 21.8% (unadjusted) above the level recorded in the same period of 2015. Permits jumped 66.5% in Cariboo, where planned spending on commercial projects soared. Overall intentions also increased substantially in Kootenay (+47.7%), Vancouver Island/Coast (+40.4%) and Thompson/Okanagan (+27.3%). Investment intentions were also robust in Mainland/Southwest (+17.7%), where most of the province’s building activity occurs.

Data Source: Statistics Canada (Regional data produced by BC Stats from unpublished data)