Issue 16-90: Building Permits

May 5, 2016

The value of building permits issued by B.C. municipalities slipped 5.2% (seasonally adjusted) in March. Non-residential building permits were down substantially (-32.9%) with decreases in permits issued for the commercial (-29.0%), industrial (-39.7%) and institutional and government (-47.5%) sectors. A 7.8% boost in planned spending on residential projects moderated the decrease.

In Abbotsford-Mission, permits jumped 31.5% in March and were also higher in Vancouver (+5.8%). However, building intentions in Victoria were down a significant 29.2% and slipped 15.7% in Kelowna.

Nationally, the value of building permits fell 7.0%, to $6.9 billion in March. Non-residential permits plunged 22.8% while residential permits showed more strength (+4.8%).

Regional Building Permits

Building permits were up in several regions of the province during the first three months of this year, compared to the same period in 2015. The biggest increases were seen in Cariboo (+88.4%) and Vancouver Island/Coast (+21.4%), where commercial, industrial and residential building permits were up substantially from last year. Permits for construction projects in Kootenay (+9.7%) and Thompson-Okanagan (+2.5%) were also significantly higher, while Mainland/Southwest (-0.9%) and the northernmost regions saw declines.

Statistics CanadaBC Stats Data Source:  (Regional data produced by  from unpublished data)