Issue 16-41: Building Permits

March 8, 2016

The value of building permits issued by B.C. municipalities fell (-11.1%, seasonally adjusted) in January, as permits for both residential (-14.2%) and non-residential (-1.6%) projects declined. Although investment intentions soared in Kelowna (+311.0%), permits in Abbostford-Mission (-68.1%), Victoria (-31.2%) and the Vancouver area (-13.8%), where most of the province’s planned activity occurs, fell back from December 2015.

Canadian permits were also off (-9.8%), as slowdowns were recorded in Quebec (-11.7%), B.C., Ontario (-10.8%) and Alberta (-5.3%), along with many other parts of the country.

The value of building permits issued by B.C. municipalities was down 22.6% (unadjusted) in January, compared to the same month last year, with decreased activity in four regions. Vancouver Island/Coast (-1.9%) posted a modest decline, but the value of planned construction in other parts of the province decreased at double-digit rates. The biggest slowdowns were seen in North Coast (-90.3%) and Mainland/Southwest (-34.0%), where permits dipped to $418.8 million, down from $634.9 million in January 2015. The drop was largely due to a decrease in planned spending on residential buildings, but commercial, industrial and institutional permits were also down sharply.

Data Source: Statistics Canada (Regional data produced by BC Stats from unpublished data)