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Total building permits glide higher

Total building permits glide higher

Posted on: 10/10/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

After two months of losses, building permits once again picked up the pace in August. That month, the total value of permits issued by Alberta towns and cities equalled $1.1 million, an increase of about six per cent from July. Compared to the same time last year, total building permits in Alberta are up, but only by about three-quarters of a percent.

Alberta’s residential sector once again proved its importance as it helped to push permit values higher over the course of the month. The residential sector as a whole notched $769 million in August, an increase of 15 per cent from July. Compared to August of last year, residential permits have increased by 28 per cent. Alberta’s residential sector has continued to surprise its critics throughout 2017. The pace of new home construction, for example, continues to move at a faster pace than many have anticipated.

Non-residential construction intentions continued their struggle in August. The non-residential sector saw $333 million worth of permits issued in August, a decline of 10 per cent from July. The value of industrial permits fell four per cent from July to August and institutional and governmental building permits slipped 44 per cent. Commercial permits on the other hand actually witnessed gains over the course of the month (+9.3 per cent) but are still down from where they were at the same time last year (-24.4 per cent).

. Although residential activity continues to drive plenty of the construction activity in the province, the non-residential sector is expected to continue to slow some of that momentum. That means that as a whole, construction activity in the province is expected to be softer over the next couple of years.

Alberta building permits, graph

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