Issue 19-21 Building Permits

February 6, 2019

The value of building permits increased 22.0% (seasonally adjusted) in December from the previous month. There were increases in permits for institutional (+57.0%), commercial (+32.1%), industrial (+14.5%), and residential (+14.3%) projects. The value of permits rose in Vancouver (+26.3%), where most of the province’s building activity occurs, as well as in Abbotsford-Mission (+61.6%). Conversely, decreases in building permits were reported in Victoria (‑28.4%) and Kelowna (‑21.2%).

Nationally, building permits increased by 6.0% in December. There was widespread growth across the country, with Saskatchewan (+38.5%), British Columbia (+22.0%), Manitoba (+9.1%), and Alberta (+5.6%) having the largest increases. Only the Atlantic provinces (‑18.8%) saw a decrease in the value of building permits.

Regional Building Permits Year-over-year

Through December of 2018, the value of building permits issued in the province’s regions climbed 22.3% (unadjusted) above the level recorded twelve months earlier. Investment intentions were up in most regions ranging from 12.0% in Thompson/Okanagan to 267.2% in North Coast. Planned spending rose in Mainland/Southwest (+26.4%), where increases in commercial (+70.0%), institutional (+22.2%), and residential (+19.2%) building permits offset a decrease for industrial (‑19.8%) projects. Overall permits increased in Cariboo (+45.8%), Kootenay (+17.2%), and Vancouver Island/Coast (+9.6%), while the Nechako (‑50.3%) 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Data Source: Statistics Canada (Regional data produced by BC Stats from unpublished data)