Monday, June 10, 2019 - 08:30

MNI DATA IMPACT: Canada April Building Permits at Record High

By Greg Quinn

OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian building permits surged to a record high in April as Vancouver developers accelerated work ahead of a fee increase.

The value of permits jumped by C$1.2 billion to C$9.3 billion in April, the biggest increase by dollar value since May 2007. The percentage increase of 14.7% was the biggest since October 2016.

Residential building permits climbed by 24.5% in April, led by a 138% gain in British Columbia. Vancouver led the increase in British Columbia with a gain of C$880 million for multi-family projects in the city.

Vancouver's move to increase development costs was the first since 1997, and the national permits increase was "almost entirely" due to demand triggered by that rule change, Statistics Canada said Monday from Ottawa.

The report is a reminder of the intense demand for housing in Vancouver, where surging prices and a run-up of mortgage debt has led to warnings from policy makers. Governments have imposed rules to curb speculation in Vancouver and Toronto while seeking to encourage new supply to make homes more affordable.

Non-residential permits rose 1.1% in April. Those permits have increased by 24.3% from the same month a year ago.

--MNI Ottawa Bureau; tel: +1-613-314-9647; email:


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