Issue 19-05 Building Permits

January 10, 2019

The value of building permits increased 14.3% (seasonally adjusted) in November from the previous month. Large increases in permits for commercial (+127.2%) and industrial (+64.5%) buildings offset decreases in residential (‑7.4%) and institutional (‑5.7%) projects. The value of permits rose in Vancouver (+15.2%), where most of the province’s building activity occurs, as well as in Victoria (+36.3%) and Abbotsford-Mission (+4.1%). Kelowna (‑9.4%) saw a decrease in building permits.

Nationally, building permits increased by 2.6% in November. There was growth in British Columbia (+14.3%), Quebec (+13.9%), Alberta (+10.4%), and Saskatchewan (+4.7%). Conversely, the value of permits contracted in the Atlantic provinces (‑14.0%), Ontario (‑10.3%), and Manitoba (‑4.1%).

Regional Building Permits Year-over-year

Through November of 2018, the value of building permits issued in the province’s regions climbed 19.2% (unadjusted) above the level recorded twelve months earlier. Investment intentions were up in most regions ranging from 10.5% in Thompson/Okanagan to 263.6% in North Coast. Planned spending rose in Mainland/Southwest (+21.6%), where increases in commercial (+50.6%), residential (+18.9%), and institutional (+6.2%) building permits offset a decrease for industrial (‑24.2%) projects. Overall permits increased in Cariboo (+45.3%), Kootenay (+18.8%), and Vancouver Island/Coast (+12.4%), while the Nechako (‑51.3%) and Northeast (‑25.1%) regions saw a decline in the value of permits.

Data Source: Statistics Canada (Regional data produced by BC Stats from unpublished data)