indicatorThe Owl

Construction intentions lower in September

But population growth may still push them back up

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 8 November 2023 1 min read

After a small increase of 1.8% in August, the seasonally-adjusted value of building permits issued in Alberta pulled back by 5.7% in September.

A drop in the value of building permits for multi-family projects pulled down total residential intentions by 5.3%.

Non-residential permit value fell by 6.5% due to weaker commercial intentions.

Even after accounting for regular seasonal variation, month-over-month permit values are extremely volatile.

The three-month moving average, however, suggests that the upward momentum we saw building over the May-July period may be losing steam.

So far this year, permit values are 4.6% lower than over the same period last year.

The recent permit numbers are pointing in a different direction than the data on housing starts which show a strong upward swing over the July to September period.

Our view is—despite September's dip in permit value—home construction will pick up next year due to strong demographic demand pressures.

Answer to the previous trivia question: The United States used to commemorate Armistice Day on November 11. However, in 1954 they changed the name to Veterans Day.

Today’s trivia question: In what year was the Canadian Legion (later to become the Royal Canadian Legion) founded?

The value of building permits issued in Alberta ticked down in September 2023

The value of building permits issued in Alberta ticked down in September 2023

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