Canadian building permits continue to show strength, rising 4.7 per cent month-over-month in March. The gain at the National level was mostly the result of higher institutional and commercial activity in Ontario, which were up 65 per cent and 15 per cent higher respectively.
Construction intentions in BC tumbled 29 per cent in March, though from a very active February that saw over $1 billion in permits. On a year-over-year basis, total building permits were down 13 per cent from March 2011.
Residential permits were essentially flat, falling 0.2 per cent, but were 13 per cent higher than March 2011. Non-residential permits recorded a steep monthly decline of 57 per cent and were 43 per cent lower than March 2011.
Permit activity was down across most BC major metropolitan areas. Victoria, Abbotsford and Vancouver all posted declines with Victoria and Abbotsford posting monthly declines of more than 20 per cent. Permitting activity in Kelowna jumped 86 per cent in March making up for two previous months of slow permit activity.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.