Building permits down

Contractors took out $5.9 billion in building permits in November, down 4.6 per cent from October.

Contractors took out $5.9 billion in building permits in November, down 4.6 per cent from October.

But Statistics Canada reports that they were 23.1 per cent higher than November 2008 and 62.8 per cent above February 2009, when their value bottomed out amid the economic downturn.

However, November’s value remained below values recorded in 2007 and early 2008. The agency blames November’s decline on decreases in the non-residential sector, which outweighed increases in the residential sector.

Construction intentions in the residential sector are starting to approach their pre-downturn levels, rising 9.1 per cent in November to $3.8 billion; Ontario and British Columbia led the way.

Municipalities issued $2.1 billion worth of non-residential permits in November, down 21.9 per

cent from October, mainly due to declines in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec. The total value of building intentions fell in four provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.