About $8.4bn-worth of building permits were issued by municipalities across Canada last March, Statistics Canada (StatsCan) reported Wednesday. The figure marks a 3.1% rise from February.
According to the government bureau, the rise came on the heels of higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings, particularly in Quebec and British Columbia, and, to a lesser extent, by the commercial component.
In particular, an increase in the multi-family component more than offset lower construction intentions for single-family dwellings. Although eight provinces reported declines in the residential sector in March, higher construction intentions in Quebec (+$373.8m) and British Columbia (+$179.5m) raised the national total.
The value of permits for multi-family dwellings hit a record $3bn in March, a 12.2% hike from February. Quebec and British Columbia registered the largest increases in the multi-family component, stemming from apartment buildings and, to a lesser extent, row houses.
Meanwhile, single-family construction intentions fell 7.9% to $2.4 billion in March, with Ontario posting the largest decline (-13.7% or -$153.1 million). The census metropolitan area (CMA) of Toronto posted the largest decrease in the single-family component, down 27.6% to $302.3 million and a second consecutive monthly decline, StatsCan said.
Among non-residential structures, the total value rose 4.5% to $3bn, from Ferburary. Higher construction intentions for commercial buildings led the increase, moderated by a decline in the institutional component. In March, six provinces registered increases in the value of non-residential permits, led by British Columbia—the only province to register gains in all three non-residential components.
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