Issue 19-112 Building Permits

July 9, 2019

The value of building permits in B.C. decreased 49.8% in May from the previous month. An increase in permits for institutional (+118.2%) buildings could not offset decreases for residential (‑63.0%), industrial (‑43.7%), and commercial (‑17.7%) projects. The value of permits was lower in Vancouver (‑55.6%), where most of the province’s building activity occurs, as well as in Abbotsford-Mission (‑40.5%), Kelowna (‑32.2%), and Victoria (‑25.6%).

Nationally, the value of building permits declined by 13.0% in May. British Columbia (‑49.8%), Saskatchewan (‑15.5%), and Ontario (‑3.6%) were largely responsible for the decline. Conversely, Manitoba (+34.7%), the Atlantic provinces (+16.8%), and Quebec (+8.1%) saw an increase in the value of building permits.

Regional Building Permits Year-over-year

Between January and May 2019, the value of building permits (unadjusted) issued in the province’s regions increased by 19.1% compared to the same period twelve months earlier.

Planned spending was higher in Mainland/Southwest (+20.6%), with increases in institutional (+156.8%), industrial (+47.6%), commercial (+39.2%), and residential (+8.3%) projects.

Overall permits increased in most other regions of B.C., led by North Coast (+1,379.7%), Nechako (+201.6%), Northeast (+59.0%), and Kootenay (+29.4%). Thompson-Okanagan (+6.0%) also saw an increase in permit value, while there were decreases in the value of permits in Cariboo (‑21.6%) and Vancouver Island/Coast (‑1.1%).

Data Source: Statistics Canada (Regional data produced by BC Stats from unpublished data)