The total value of Canadian building permits declined 1.9 per cent on a monthly basis in May as lower construction intentions in Ontario and Quebec offset strong gains in other provinces, including the BC non-residential sector.
In BC, total permit activity increased 2.2 per cent from April to May and posted a third consecutive month of over $1.1 billion in permits. On a year-over-year basis, the dollar value of building permits in the province was 20.3 per cent higher than May 2015, led by a 22.6 per cent increase in non-residential permits. Residential activity was slightly lower on a monthly basis in May, but was up 19.5 per cent year-over-year, indicating that new home construction should remain strong in subsequent months.
Construction intentions were mixed in BC's four census metropolitan areas (CMA). Permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA jumped close to 40 per cent on a monthly basis but were 4.9 per cent lower year-over-year. In the Kelowna CMA, permits fell almost 7 per cent from April but were 27 per cent higher year-over-year. In the Vancouver CMA, permits increased 9 per cent on a monthly basis and were up 23 per cent year-over-year. In the Victoria CMA, permit activity was down 23 per cent on a monthly basis but was up 26.6 per cent compared to May 2015.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.