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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

July 07, 2016

The value of building permits issued in Nova Scotia increased by 77.3per cent in April, reversing from the 44.2 per cent gain decline in May.  Both residential (54.5 per cent) and non-residential (149.9 per cent) permit values increased.  Compared with May 2015, NS building permits are up 26.0 per cent, with increases in both residential and non-residential permit values.  Although monthly results for building permits are highly volatile, there has been a downward trend in residential permits since early in 2015. 

The increase in Nova Scotia building permit values particularly reflects the trends in the Halifax market.  Both residential (190.2 per cent) and non-residential (1009.1 per cent) permit values moved up in May after trending downward over previous months.

Outside the Halifax market, there have been rising building permits for residential projects with May levels continuing to push up the 6 month trend. Non-residential permit values were up 13.2 per cent however, trend remains relatively flat.

On a year-to-date basis, overall building permit values are down 0.8 per cent in Nova Scotia.  Rising permit values outside Halifax were more than offset by declining permit values in the city.


Building permit values (unadjusted) were up in all economic regions outside Halifax, with the largest gains in the North Shore area. 

 National building permit values have been trending down for both residential and non-residential categories.  In May, Canada's residential building permits were down 1.1 per cent while non-residential permits fell 3.3 per cent.

Comparing the first five months of 2016 with the same period in 2015, Nova Scotia's residential building permit values fell by 3.1 per cent, including a 29.4 per cent drop in Halifax.  Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick reported the largest gains in residential building permit values while Saskatchewan and Alberta reported the steepest drop. 

So far this year, Nova Scotia's non-residential building permit values have averaged 4.8 per cent above their value in 2015. A decline in Halifax of 7.4 per cent has been offset in areas outside Halifax.  New Brunswick and Manitoba non-residential permit values reported the strongest gains while the largest declines were observed in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Saskatchewan.    

Overall building permit values were down 0.8 per cent in Nova Scotia and 23.7 per cent in Halifax. Prince Edward Island has reported the strongest gain in overall permit values while Saskatchewan has reported the largest decline.


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

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