Canada’s Building Permit Registry Record Drops in September



By Robb M. Stewart

OTTAWA – Canadian building permits saw the largest monthly decline on record in September as the value of permits for multi-family homes weighed on the residential sector and institutional permits fell after three consecutive monthly increases.

The total value of building permits for September fell 17.5% from the previous month to C$10.22 billion seasonally adjusted, or the equivalent of $7.45 billion, Statistics Canada reported Thursday. Market expectations were for a decline of 4.6%, according to economists at TD Securities.

The Canadian data agency said it was the first time all components of the survey showed monthly declines since September 2019.

September’s plunge meant that the total value of building permits in the third quarter fell 6.3% to C$33.7 billion after three consecutive quarterly increases.

Year over year, the overall value of permits issued in September was down 2.5%.

Building permits provide a first indication of building activity in Canada and are based on a survey of 2,400 municipalities, representing 95% of the country’s population. Issuance of a permit does not guarantee that construction is imminent.

Construction intentions in the residential sector fell sharply from the previous month, with permits down 15.6% to C$7.04 billion, Statistics Canada said. Construction intentions for multi-family dwellings fell 21.2%, while construction intentions for single-family homes fell 7.7%.

Permits for non-residential buildings fell 21.5% to $3.18 billion, Statistics Canada said.

Write to Robb M. Stewart at [email protected]

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