OTTAWA, Ont. - Construction activity could intensify in the coming months, according to Statistics Canada, as the value of building permits issued by municipalities hit its third highest level on reco...
STRONG OUTLOOK: Construction activity is expected to boom this spring following a surge in building permits across the country.
OTTAWA, Ont. – Construction activity could intensify in the coming months, according to Statistics Canada, as the value of building permits issued by municipalities hit its third highest level on record in February.
Across-the-board increases in every component of both residential and non-residential sectors fuelled a 13.5 per cent surge in permits to $5.06 billion. This followed an 11.1 per cent decline in January.
It was the third time in the last four months that permits surpassed the $5-billion mark. February’s monthly total was only lower than June 2004 ($5.31 billion) and November 2004 ($5.08 billion). The value of building permits is considered an early indicator of construction activity.
On the residential side, housing intentions rose 11.8 per cent to $3.4 billion, the fourth monthly gain in the last five months. This level was just 1.4 per cent short of the record high reached last June. Both single- and multi-family intentions recorded strong gains.
On the non-residential side, the value of permits hit $1.7 billion, a 17.1 per cent rebound from a 17.8 per cent drop in January. All three components (commercial, industrial and institutional) were behind the strong showing. The value of non-residential permits has been on an upward trend since March 2004.
On a year-to-date basis, the value of overall construction intentions hit $9.5 billion, 12.8 per cent higher than the total for the first two months of 2004, which was a record year. Residential intentions were up 13.4 per cent and non-residential up 11.5 per cent.
Among metropolitan areas, Toronto and Edmonton began 2005 strongly. In Toronto, a buoyant demand for new multi-family dwellings drove the increase. In Edmonton, the gain was spread across the various categories of residential and non-residential buildings. However, the gain shown in the country-wide cumulative value of building permits came largely from non-metropolitan areas.
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