Issue 17-69: Building Permits

April 6, 2017

The value of building permits issued by B.C. municipalities bucked the national trend in February, increasing 7.1% (seasonally adjusted). Permits for residential projects climbed 17.2%, while those for other types of buildings slowed (-19.4%). Planned spending on industrial (-22.7%), commercial (-19.4%) and institutional (-17.0%) buildings all decreased. The value of permits jumped in Vancouver (+23.9%), where most of the province’s building activity occurs. Conversely, Abbotsford-Mission (-67.7%) saw the value of permits issued decline, as did Victoria (-17.0%) and Kelowna (-10.9%).

The national picture was less promising than that of B.C., as permits slipped by 2.5%, pulled down primarily by weakness in Alberta (-8.2%), Ontario (-7.1%) and Quebec (-2.8%). However, the overall decrease was moderated by substantial boosts in B.C., Saskatchewan (+66.4%) and most of Atlantic Canada.

Regional Building Permits

During the first two months of 2017, the value of building permits issued in the province’s regions climbed 7.1% (unadjusted) above the level recorded in the same period last year. Investment intentions were up in three regions, including Mainland/Southwest (+10.7%), where planned spending on residential (+13.8%), industrial (+33.0%) and institutional and governmental (+78.8%) projects climbed. Overall permits also increased in North Coast (+35.4%) and Thompson/Okanagan (+11.0%), while declines among the remaining five regions ranged from 2.5% in Vancouver Island/Coast to 62.8% in Cariboo.

Data Source: Statistics Canada (Regional data produced by BC Stats from unpublished data)