October 15, 2012
Alberta and Saskatchewan make permit gains
Saskatchewan and Alberta both made strong gains in the value of building permits in August, while Manitoba and B.C. experienced a decline.
“The construction industry is an important part of Saskatchewan’s economy and these numbers highlight the high demand in the province for construction services,” said Saskatchewan’s Economy Minister Bill Boyd.
“These are stellar numbers and clearly show Saskatchewan’s economy continues out performing other provinces.”
Statistics Canada reported recently that Saskatchewan issued building permits worth $318 million in August, which is a 31.7 per cent increase from July.
The increase ranked Saskatchewan first among all the provinces for the rate of growth in the value of building permits.
The increase was driven by residential construction, which went up 31 per cent in August to $180 million and non-residential construction which expanded by 33 per cent to $138 million.
In Alberta, the value of building permits increased by 17.9 per cent to $1.287 billion in August.
The increase was driven by residential construction, which went up 26.2 per cent in August to $801 million and non-residential construction which expanded by 6.3 per cent to $486 million.
The gain in Alberta came from multi-family dwellings, institutional and commercial buildings.
In contrast, the dollar value of building permits issued by municipalities in B.C. declined in August.
“The drop in building permit values in August was due to declines in both the residential and non-residential categories, and the non-residential drop was due mainly to a drop in commercial permits,” said Keith Sashaw, president of the Vancouver Regional Construction Association.
“This type of a drop in commercial permits following a high activity month as was July is a normal pattern.
“Permit values are still ahead of 2011 levels in all permit categories.”
In B.C., the value of building permits fell by 15 per cent to $885 billion in August from $1.05 billion in July.
The decline was driven by residential construction, which fell by 22.5 per cent in August to $556 and non-residential construction which declined 1.5 per cent to $330 million.
However, the value of building permits in B.C. increased by 6.8 per cent compared to August 2011 ($829 million).
Manitoba municipalities issued $177.6 million worth of permits during the month, which represents a drop of 4.5 per cent from July.
However, it was still a 25.3 per cent improvement from a year earlier, when the permit total was only $141.7 million.
The decline in Manitoba was also concentrated on residential construction, where permit values were down by 13 per cent to $112.2 million.
On the non-residential side, permit values increased by 14.5 per cent to $65.4 million.
Nationally, Statistics Canada said the value of building permits issued in August rose 7.9 per cent to $7.3 billion after a 2.8 per cent drop in July.
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