The total value of Canadian building permits rose 6 per cent on a monthly basis in December to $8.8 billion. The increase was due to a record level of construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings across Canada.
In BC, the total value of permits increased 22 per cent to $2.1 billion, the first time in BC's history that permits have eclipsed the $2 billion mark. The majority of the increase was the result of strong permit activity for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings. Total non-residential permits were up 35 per cent on a monthly basis and were 143 per cent higher year-over-year. Residential permits rose 14 per cent compared to November and 7 per cent year-over-year to $1.24 billion.
Construction intentions in December were mixed in BC's four census metropolitan areas (CMA):
- Permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA increased 62 per cent on a monthly basis to $65.7 million. Year-over-year, permit values were up about 17 per cent.
- In the Victoria CMA, total permit values fell 28 per cent on a monthly basis to $91.1 million, a 8 per cent decrease over last year.
- In the Kelowna CMA, permits values fell for a second straight month, declining 21 per cent on a monthly basis to $87 million. However, the value of permits was up 44 per cent compared to December 2017.
- In the Vancouver CMA, the value of permits rose 26 per cent to nearly $1.4 billion. On a year-over-year basis, the value of permits was 48 per cent higher.