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indicatorThe Owl

Building permits down again in May

Alberta is bucking the trend in central Canada and B.C. where the value of building permits improved in May

By ATB Economics 2 July 2020 1 min read

The seasonally adjusted value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities fell by 9 per cent in May compared to April. This follows a drop of 10 per cent in April and a 17 per cent drop in March.

The total drop between February and May was 31 per cent for a difference of $328 million.

Alberta is bucking the trend in central Canada and B.C. where the value of building permits improved in May.

Although still down 9 per cent compared to February's pre-shock level, the value of building permits issued in Quebec jumped by 72 per cent in May over the low point set in April. In Ontario, building permit value increased by 24 per cent in May, but was still down by 12 per cent compared to February.

B.C. is the only large province to be ahead of where it was before the pandemic with the value of building permits up by 4 per cent in May compared to February.

Alberta’s residential permits were down by 32 per cent in May compared to February. Over the same period, industrial building permits were down by 40 per cent while commercial permits fell by 54 per cent.

Institutional and governmental building permits, however, more than doubled during the pandemic, going from $51 million in February to $106 million in May (+109 per cent).

We will be carefully watching this indicator as we get deeper into the recovery to see when the monthly value of permits catches up to where it was and, hopefully, starts to make up the ground lost during the pandemic.

The seasonally adjusted value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities fell by 9 per cent in May

The seasonally adjusted value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities fell by 9 per cent in May


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