The total value of Canadian building permits fell 5.5 per cent on a monthly basis in January to $8.4 billion. A decline in construction intentions for commercial buildings was the primary driver of the decline.
In BC, the total value of permits fell 24 per cent to $1.6 billion after reaching a milestone of $2 billion in December. A decline in Vancouver commercial building permits was largely responsible for the overall drop in the value of permits, falling 56 per cent on a monthly basis. Total non-residential permits were down 52 per cent on a monthly basis and were essentially flat year-over-year. Residential permits fell 4.3 per cent compared to December but were up 4.5 per cent year-over-year to $1.19 billion.
Construction intentions in January were mostly down in BC's four census metropolitan areas (CMA):
- Permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA fell 49 per cent on a monthly basis to $33.5 million. Year-over-year, permit values were down 48 per cent.
- In the Victoria CMA, total permit values were up 19 per cent on a monthly basis to $110.2 million, but were down 28.5 per cent over last year.
- In the Kelowna CMA, permits values fell for a third straight month, declining 4.5 per cent on a monthly basis to $81.1 million. However, the value of permits was up 42 per cent compared to January 2018.
- In the Vancouver CMA, the value of permits fell 28 per cent to just over $1 billion. On a year-over-year basis, the value of permits was 15 per cent higher.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.