Issue 17-25: Building Permits

February 8, 2017

The value of building permits issued in B.C. dipped 23.5% (seasonally adjusted) in December, after solid growth in the previous month (+11.9%). The drop-off was due primarily to a slump in residential building permits (-27.3%), the deepest decrease since November 2011. Non-residential permits also posted a decline (-8.3%), mostly resulting from a weaker market for commercial building permits (-13.3%).

Permits in Vancouver plummeted 35.2%, but showed strength in Kelowna (+1.9%), Victoria (+22.1%) and Abbotsford-Mission (+133.1%).

Nationally, building permits were down 6.6%, pulled down by the value of both residential (-4.1%) and non-residential permits (-11.5%). Changes in the value of building permits among the provinces ranged from an increase of 7.2% in Ontario to a decrease of 43.7% in New Brunswick.

Regional Building Permits

Non-seasonally adjusted data from across the regions of B.C. (+0.6%) show that most parts of the province saw growth in building permits between December 2015 and December 2016. The strongest growth in the value of permits was in the Cariboo region (+41.5%), but Vancouver Island/Coast (+28.2%) and Thompson/Okanagan (+27.4%) also experienced double-digit increases. Meanwhile, the overall provincial climb was nearly offset by a moderate decline in Mainland/Southwest (-6.5%), where much of the province’s building activity occurs.

Data Source: Statistics Canada (Regional data produced by BC Stats from unpublished data)