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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

February 08, 2016

In December 2015, Nova Scotia building permits were up 5.7 per cent compared to the previous month at $76.8 million with increases in both residential (+1.2%) and non-residential permits (+16.1%). Compared to December 2014 permits were down 11.7 per cent with a decline in residential permits (-19.3%) offsetting an increase a 8.8 per cent increase in non-residential permits.

For 2015, total building permit value was up 0.9 per cent in Nova Scotia to $1.19 billion. An increase in residential permits of 6.4% (+$488 million) offset a decline in non-residential permits of 9.3 per cent (-$387 million). All three components of the non-residential category were down: industrial (-21.4%), commercial (-2.6%) and institutional and governmental (-18.3%). Halifax permits were up 4.9 per cent with an increase of 15.7 per cent in residential permits and a decline of 13.9 per cent in non-residential building permits. In the residential sector, Halifax saw a 37.0 per cent increase in permits for multiple units and a 12.9 per cent decline in single unit permits.


Canada's building permits increased 11.3 per cent in December after falling 19.9 per cent in November. Gains in residential permits occurred in every province except Saskatchewan with higher intentions for multi-family dwellings leading the advance. The value of single-family dwellings was down 0.1 per cent and has remained stable around $2.3 billion for past four months. Non-residential permits were up 2.5 per cent in December but this did not offset the 19.9  per cent decline from the month. Gains were seen in commercial buildings with higher construction intentions for retail complexes, storage buildings, and research centres. The largest gains were in Ontario and British Columbia while Alberta and Quebec had largest declines.

For 2015, Canada's building permits totaled $85.0 billion, unchanged from 2014. Residential permits were up 4.4 per cent but offset with a 6.3 per cent decline in non-residential permits. Higher intentions for multi-family dwellings was responsible for the increase and gains were seen in three provinces: Nova Scotia (+6.4%), Ontario (+11.2%) and British Columbia (+28.1%). Non-residential permits declined for all three components with commercial building intentions leading the decline with a 7.4 per cent decrease. Four provinces saw gains: Prince Edward Island (+3.2%), New Brunswick (+4.1%), Ontario (+2.5%) and Saskatchewan (+54.6%)



Sources: CANSIM 026-0006 and 026-0005
Statistics Canada Cat. No. 64-001-X

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