indicatorThe Owl

Construction intentions rise in Alberta

Permit value was 30.0 per cent higher than in March 2020 when the pandemic was declared

By ATB Economics 6 May 2021 1 min read

The seasonally adjusted value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities* rose by 0.5 per cent in March compared to February.

Permit value was 30.0 per cent higher than in March 2020 when the pandemic was declared and 23.9 per cent above March 2019 when the provincial economy was reeling from the combined effects of a lack of oil pipeline capacity, extremely low prices for Alberta crude and oil production limits.

The relatively strong start to the year is also evident in terms of quarterly performance with the total permit value in the first quarter of 2021 up by 17.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

With that said, the growth is uneven with residential construction permits higher than non-residential. Residential permit value increased by 15.2 per cent vis-à-vis February’s total while non-residential permits fell by 20.4 per cent. 

Comparing the first quarter of 2021 with the first quarter of 2020, the value of residential building permits was up by 23.2 per cent on the back of higher single dwelling building permits.

Non-residential permits were up by 8.5 per cent over the first three months of 2021 compared to the same period last year due to a 74.6 per cent spike in institutional and government construction intentions. Unfortunately, both industrial (-33.7 per cent) and commercial (-6.3 per cent) permits were down.

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

Answer to the previous trivia question: According to trippy.com, the driving distance from Edmonton to Mexico CIty is 4,892 km.

Today’s trivia question: During the 123 months from January 2011 (when the current data series begins) to March 2021, how many times was the seasonally adjusted value of building permits in Alberta below $1 billion?

The value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities rose by 0.5 per cent in March 2021 compared to February 2021

The value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities rose by 0.5 per cent in March 2021 compared to February 2021


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