The value of building permits fell in September in both the Calgary and the Edmonton regions.
Statistics Canada reported on Tuesday that building permits of $382 million in the Calgary census metropolitan area dropped by 16.8 per cent month over month and by a whopping 43.1 per cent year-over-year.
The same pattern held true for the Edmonton census metropolitan area as permits in September declined by 10.5 per cent month over month and by 20.3 per cent year over year to $320.7 million.
Across Alberta, permits were down 5.6 per cent on a monthly basis and 31.3 per cent on an annual basis to just over $1 billion for September.
In the province, the residential sector recorded building permit value of $543.7 million – off by 6.9 per cent month over month and by 21.4 per cent year over year.
The non-residential sector in Alberta was also hit hard during the month, falling by 3.9 per cent from August to $465.5 million and off by 40.2 per cent from September 2017.
The value of building permits in Canada rose by 0.4 per cent from August to $8.1 billion but remained down 0.6 per cent from a year ago.
The residential sector in Canada was healthy, showing gains of 0.3 per cent from the previous month and two per cent from a year ago to $4.9 billion.
The non-residential sector across the country also rose on a monthly basis by 0.6 per cent to $3.1 billion but it remained down 4.4 per cent from the level recorded a year ago.
“Canadian municipalities issued $24.2 billion worth of building permits in the third quarter, down 1.1 per cent from the second quarter. In the residential sector, both single-family (-5.7 per cent) and multi-family (-5.8 per cent) dwellings were down. Meanwhile, the value of permits in the non-residential sector rose 7.5 per cent to $9.2 billion, led by the institutional and industrial components,” said StatsCan.
“Alberta contributed the most to the decline in the single-family dwelling component, with the value of permits down 24.9 per cent from the previous quarter. Municipalities issued $958 million worth of permits in the third quarter – the lowest value reported since the second quarter of 2009. The quarterly decline for multi-family dwellings stemmed from Ontario, where municipalities issued $3.0 billion worth of building permits in the third quarter of 2018 (-8.5 per cent). This followed a record high of $3.3 billion the previous quarter.”
Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.