Residential building permits fall in latest report
The total value of building permits was $7.5 billion in October, edging up 0.7 per cent from September according to data from StatsCan. However residential permits fell 0.4 per cent to $4.5 billion in October, following a 7.4 per cent increase in September. Residential construction intentions fell in five provinces, with Quebec and Ontario accounting for most of the decline at the national level. Alberta and Nova Scotia posted the largest increases. It was the multi-unit sector that saw the biggest losses; down 0.9 per cent overall from September with decline in six provinces, with Quebec registering the largest decline. Nova Scotia posted the largest gain, followed by Alberta and Saskatchewan. The value of permits for single-family homes was little changed. Gains were posted in six provinces, led by Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, while Ontario registered the largest decrease. At the national level, Canadian municipalities approved the construction of 18,354 new dwellings, down 0.6% from the previous month.
Non-residential building permits surge
The value of non-residential building intentions soared 34.4 per cent in October, following a 4.4 per cent increase the month before. The latest building permits report from StatsCan show that advance was the result of higher construction intentions for medical facilities in British Columbia as well as nursing homes and retirement residences in several provinces. Commercial property fared less well with intentions for offices, retail and leisure facilities all lower leading to the value of permits falling 8.1 per cent in October, following a 6.2 per cent advance the previous month. This was the lowest level since April of this year.
Fitch warns of “unsustainable” levels of household debt including mortgages
Credit rating agency Fitch has warned that Canada’s banks are at risk due to “unsustainable” levels of consumer debt. Although the firm says that the banks have good earnings and balance sheets it’s outlook for next year comes with caution due to the expected rise in interest rates and the effect that will have on consumers’ ability to service debts although banks will be largely protected from defaults on home loans due to CMHC cover. Fitch says that there is overvaluation in housing in Vancouver and Greater Toronto in particular and this sentiment was shared in a report by Moody’s. Fitch also issued warnings about the housing market back in June saying that it estimated a 20 per cent overvaluation.
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