Issue 18-208 Building Permits

December 12, 2018

The value of building permits increased 3.0% (seasonally adjusted) in October from the previous month. An increase in permits for residential (+14.5%) buildings offset decreases in industrial (‑27.2%), commercial (‑24.7%), and institutional (‑14.2%) projects. The value of permits rose in Vancouver (+8.8%), where most of the province’s building activity occurs, as well as in Kelowna (+40.7%) and Abbotsford-Mission (+27.4%). Victoria (‑28.1%) saw a decrease in building permits.

Nationally, building permits decreased by 0.2% in October. There was growth in Ontario (+9.4%), the Atlantic Provinces (+8.6%), and British Columbia (+3.0%). Conversely, the value of permits contracted in Manitoba (‑16.8%), Quebec (‑14.8%), Saskatchewan (‑5.7%), and Alberta (‑4.5%).

Regional Building Permits Year-over-year

Through October of 2018, the value of building permits issued in the province’s regions climbed 17.1% (unadjusted) above the level recorded twelve months earlier. Investment intentions were up in most regions ranging from 9.6% in Thompson/Okanagan to 311.2% in North Coast. Planned spending rose in Mainland/Southwest (+18.7%), where increases in commercial (+35.4%), residential (+18.2%), and institutional (14.3%) building permits offset a decrease for industrial (‑29.0%) projects. Overall permits increased in Cariboo (+47.3%), Kootenay (+19.7%), and Vancouver Island/Coast (+10.5%), while the Nechako (‑53.3%) and Northeast (‑18.1%) regions saw a decline in the value of permits.

Data Source: Statistics Canada (Regional data produced by BC Stats from unpublished data)