Issue 18-157 Building Permits

September 6, 2018

The value of building permits fell 11.0% (seasonally adjusted) in July from the previous month. Increases in permits for industrial (+67.6%) and institutional (+14.4%) buildings could not offset decreases for residential (‑15.4%) and commercial (‑5.9%) projects. The value of permits declined in Vancouver (‑13.5%), where most of the province’s building activity occurs, as well as in Victoria (‑52.5%) and Abbotsford-Mission (‑9.9%). Kelowna (+13.3%) saw an increase in building permits.

Nationally, building permits decreased slightly by 0.1% in July. There was growth in Saskatchewan (+31.7%), Manitoba (+20.6%), and Quebec (+14.7%). Conversely, the value of permits contracted in British Columbia (‑11.0%), Alberta (‑4.1%), and Ontario (‑2.4%).

Regional Building Permits

Through July of 2018, the value of building permits issued in the province’s regions climbed 14.8% (unadjusted) above the level recorded twelve months earlier. Investment intentions were up in most regions ranging from 10.4% in Thompson/Okanagan to 69.1% in Cariboo. Planned spending rose in Mainland/Southwest (+13.9%), where increases in commercial (+32.1%) and residential (+16.5%) building permits offset decreases for institutional and governmental (‑45.5%) and industrial (‑8.7%) projects. Overall permits increased in Vancouver Island/Coast (+21.4%), Kootenay (+15.9%), and North Coast (+15.7%), while the Nechako (‑51.6%) and Northeast (‑18.6%) regions saw a decline in the value of permits.

Data Source: Statistics Canada (Regional data produced by BC Stats from unpublished data)