Canadian building permits broke a string of two monthly declines, rising 1.1 per cent in April. The increase was the result of higher construction intentions in the residential sector, which offset a decline in non-residential permits.
Construction intentions in BC tumbled 20 per cent month-over-month and close to 31 per cent year-over-year in April. The dollar value of residential permits fell 14 per cent on a monthly basis and 32.5 per cent year-over year while non-residential permits were down 32 per cent from March and 26 per cent year-over-year. In unit terms, residential permits fell 26.5 per cent due to weakness in multiple unit permits.
Building permit activity was down in most of BC's four major census metropolitan areas (CMA) in April. After more than doubling last month, permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA moderated 7.8 per cent in April and were down 21 per cent year-over-year. Similarly, construction intentions in the Victoria CMA fell 53 per cent in April following a large increase in March. In the Kelowna CMA, permits increased 8.5 per cent on a monthly basis and but were down 35 per cent compared to April 2013. Finally, in the Vancouver CMA, permits fell 25 per cent on a monthly basis and were down 41 per cent year-over-year.