Vancouver, BC Post Building Permit Declines: StatCan

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

After driving Canada’s record-high building permit values in July, Vancouver and BC’s residential construction permits plummet in August

Joannah Connolly

Following huge gains in the value of residential building permits issued in July, Vancouver and BC posted much lower figures in August 2014, according to Statistics Canada figures released October 7.

The figures would be expected to decline in the slow summer month of August, but Vancouver’s building permits also took a significant year-over-year drop.

Residential building permits in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were valued at $483.5 million in August, down 32.9 per cent compared with July 2014 and down 16.9 per cent compared with August 2013. Vancouver CMA posted the third-largest monthly decline, after Montréal and Toronto.

Statistics Canada attributed Vancouver CMA’s drop in part to “lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings.”

Across the province as a whole, the declines were less marked. BC’s August residential permits of $598.9 million were down 20.7 per cent month over month and down 0.9 year over year. However, BC did post the second-largest monthly drop, after Ontario.

Nationwide, after five consecutive monthly increases, the total value of residential permits fell 15.9 per cent month over month to $4.15 billion. However, it increased year over year by 4.27 per cent.

Broken down by property type, the biggest national month-over-month drop was in multi-family dwellings, which decreased 28.6 per cent in August to $1.8 billion.

Statistics Canada said that BC posted Canada’s second-largest gain in single-family dwelling building permits, suggesting that BC’s overall decline was driven, like Vancouver’s, by falling multi-family building permits.

© 2014 Real Estate Weekly

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