Municipalities issued $6.8 billion in building permits, a 17.2% increase from February and the highest level since June 2007. Statistics Canada attributed the gains primarily to Ontario in both residential and non-residential sectors.
Nationally, residential permits had the biggest gain, rising 33.9% to reach $4 billion in March, following two straight months of declines in that sector. It was the highest level in the residential sector in a year.
Non-residential permits were slightly down 0.4% to reach $2.8 billion in March, but that was on the heels of a 72.7% increase in February.
In the non-residential sector, the value of permits edged down 0.4% to $2.8 billion, following a 72.7% increase in February. Lower construction intentions for industrial and commercial permits more than offset a record high value for institutional permits. Alberta recorded the largest drop in March in the non-residential sector, whereas eight provinces saw gains in the total value of non-residential permits.
Within the residential sector, multifamily permits doubled to reach $1.9 billion, led especially by Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. Single-family dwellings were also up 2.5% from the previous month to $2.1 billion in March. Gains in Ontario and Alberta offset declines in other provinces, said the report.
Total dwellings approved were up 26.7% in March from February to reach 17,141, led mostly by multifamily dwellings which were up 55.5% to 10,469 units. Single-family dwellings declined 1.9% to 6,672 units.
Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate