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Doug McCann Research and Statistics Officer
Tel: 902-424-2141Email: Douglas.McCann@novascotia.ca

December 07, 2017
BUILDING PERMITS, OCTOBER 2017

 

The value of building permits issued in Nova Scotia fell by 29.1 per cent in October, following a 21.9 per cent increase in September. Residential permits were down 37.2 per cent while non-residential building permits decreased 9.0 per cent. Monthly results for building permits are highly volatile; the six-month moving average of residential permits have trended modestly upwards in 2017 while non-residential permits' six-month moving avera has declined in recent months.

The trend in Nova Scotia building permit values particularly reflects the trends in the Halifax market. The value of Halifax building permits dropped 47.6 per cent in October 2017 reflecting declines in both non-residential (43.2 per cent) and in residential (49.9 per cent) permits. Residential permits in Halifax have been on the rise since mid-2016 following a downward trend through much of 2015 and early 2016.  Non-residential permits in Halifax have recently peaked.

Outside the Halifax market, building permit values rose 19.8 per cent in October with an increase in non-residential permits of 96.2 per cent offset by a decline in residential permits of 5.7 per cent.

Comparing the ten nine months of 2017 with the same period in 2016, NS building permits were up 23.4 per cent reflecting an increase in both residential (18.4 per cent) and non-residential (35.1 per cent) building permits. Non-residential permit gains have occurred with increases in industrial (+38.3%), commercial (+45.8%), and institutional and governmental (+3.9%). Commercial building permits account for the majority of the dollar increase in non-residential permits with increasing permits for trade/service buildings, office buildings and the hotels/restaurants category.

Year-to date permitted dwelling units in Nova Scotia were up 216 units, reflecting an increase in multiples and singles in Halifax. However, permitted dwelling units outside Halifax were down 126 units reflecting a decrease in both singles and multiples.

 

Compared with January through October 2016, year to date 2017 building permit values (unadjusted) were up in four of the five economic regions, with the largest gains in Halifax, followed by Southern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. Permit values were lower in North Shore, while values were up only slightly in the Annapolis Valley region.

Nationally, residential building permit values were on an upward trend in 2016 but have levelled off in 2017. Non-residential building permit values have picked up in 2017 after declining through 2015 and 2016. Compared to January through October of 2016, both residential permits (8.6 per cent) and non-residential permit (7.8 per cent) were up nationally in the first nine months of 2017. 

Comparing the first ten months of 2017 to the same period in 2016, Manitoba reported the largest gains in residential building permit values followed by Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Quebec in percentage terms. Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta and New Brunswick reported declines. 

Comparing the first ten months of 2017 to the same period in 2016, non-residential building permits increased in seven provinces led in percentage terms by Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. All three prairie provinces reported declines.

Comparing the first ten months of 2017 to the same period in 2016, overall building permit values were down in Alberta, while all other provinces observed gains with Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia growing fastest.

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