The total value of Canadian building permits declined 7 per cent on a monthly basis in March following a 15 per cent increase in February. The drop in permits was the result of lower permit activity in the commercial sector in Alberta, Ontario and BC.
In BC, total permit activity declined 5 per cent from February to March but remained above $1 billion for the fifth consecutive month. On a year-over-year basis, the dollar value of building permits in the province was 10 per cent lower than March 2015. Non-residential permits accounted for all of the decline, falling 33 per cent on a monthly basis and 37 per cent year-over-year. Residential permits rose 8 per cent on a monthly basis and were up 2.6 per cent year-over-year.
Construction intentions were mixed in BC's four census metropolitan areas (CMA). Permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA were up 31.5 cent on a monthly basis and 11 per cent higher year-over-year. In the Kelowna CMA, permits fell 16 per cent from February and were 34 per cent lower year-over-year. In the Vancouver CMA, permits increased 6 per cent on a monthly basis and were down 12 per cent year-over-year. In the Victoria CMA, permit activity was down 29 per cent on a monthly basis but was up 41 per cent compared to March 2015.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.