Commerical projects boost growth in construction intentions
Meanwhile, residential permit value has moderated, but is still higher than last year
By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 5 April 2023 1 min read
Construction intentions have climbed to a nine-month high in Alberta.
The seasonally-adjusted value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities* rose by $308.6 million (25.6%) to reach $1.5 billion in February. With this outsized increase, total permit value has jumped to its highest level since May 2022.
Buoyed by a surge in commercial projects, the value of non-residential permits issued in Alberta grew by $340.6 million (90.6%) and stood at a five-year peak in February.
The gains were, however, tempered on the residential side. Cooling housing prices in the month pushed residential permit value down by $32.0 million (-3.9%), but it still managed to stay above last year’s level.
Despite recent weakness, construction intentions in Alberta’s residential market remain somewhat favourable. Over the first two months of the year, the number of residential permit issuances for new dwelling units was up by 7.8% year-to-date in the province.
In fact, the number of residential permit issuances were up only in western Canada while significant weakness in central Canada pushed national issuances down by 7.3% through February.
*Statistics Canada’s Building Permits Survey covers all Canadian municipalities that issue permits.
Answer to the previous trivia question: The largest bank failure in the U.S. occurred when Washington Mutual Bank went under in 2008. It had about US$307 billion in assets.
Today’s trivia question: What is the seven-letter name of the common construction material made of gypsum plaster wrapped in paper?