indicatorThe Owl

Building permits down, but not out, in May

The retreat in May comes after a 10% increase in April

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 6 July 2021 1 min read

Following the trend across most of the country, the seasonally adjusted value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities* decreased in May.

Building permits lost ground everywhere except Manitoba, Yukon and Newfoundland and Labrador. Permit value declined by 7% in Alberta compared to a drop of 15% nationally.

The retreat in May comes after a 10% increase in April. Permit value in Alberta was, moreover, higher than in February 2020 (just before the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic) and May 2019 (the same month of the most recent year before the pandemic).

In fact, the total value of building permits in Alberta over the first five months of 2021 was $1.1 billion (23%) higher than over the same period in 2019.

The growth, however, has been concentrated in the residential sector.

Residential permits were 42% higher over the January to May period in 2021 than in 2019 whereas non-residential permits were down by 4%.

*Statistics Canada’s Building Permits Survey covers all Canadian municipalities that issue permits.

Answer to the previous trivia question: The latest round of trade negotiations among members of the World Trade Organization is known as Doha.

Today’s trivia question: In what year was the first Edmonton Folk Music Festival held?

The seasonally adjusted value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities decreased by 7% in May

The seasonally adjusted value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities decreased by 7% in May


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