Issue 18-187 Building Permits

November 6, 2018

The value of building permits decreased 19.8% (seasonally adjusted) in September from the previous month. An increase in permits for institutional (+14.0%) buildings could not offset decreases for industrial (‑37.9%), commercial (‑32.5%), and residential (‑17.2%) projects. The value of permits fell in Vancouver (‑37.9%), where most of the province’s building activity occurs, as well as in Abbotsford-Mission (‑20.3%) and Kelowna (‑11.1%). Victoria (+90.7%) saw an increase in building permits.

Nationally, building permits increased by 0.4% in September. There was growth in Quebec (+25.4%), Saskatchewan (+19.6%), the Atlantic Provinces (+10.5%), and Ontario (+0.8%). Conversely, the value of permits contracted in British Columbia (‑19.8%), Alberta (‑5.6%), and Manitoba (‑3.0%).

Regional Building Permits

Through September of 2018, the value of building permits issued in the province’s regions climbed 18.2% (unadjusted) above the level recorded twelve months earlier. Investment intentions were up in most regions ranging from 7.3% in Thompson/Okanagan to 288.3% in North Coast. Planned spending rose in Mainland/Southwest (+19.9%), where increases in commercial (+47.4%) and residential (+18.1%) building permits offset decreases for industrial (‑14.8%) and institutional (‑2.7%) projects. Overall permits increased in Cariboo (+50.6%), Kootenay (+16.6%), and Vancouver Island/Coast (+15.2%), while the Nechako (‑61.0%) and Northeast (‑17.3%) regions saw a decline in the value of permits.

Data Source: Statistics Canada (Regional data produced by BC Stats from unpublished data)