Residential and non-residential permits in 2019 were down compared to 2018, ATB Financial’s Economics and Research Team notes. File photo

Alberta’s construction sector: Residential and non-residential permits down in 2019

The value of building permits issued by municipalities in Alberta edged up 0.7 per cent ($7.0 million) in December compared to November.

Unfortunately, the value of permits was down 9.3 per cent ($104.2 million) compared to the previous December, ATB Financial’s Economics and Research team says. The total value of permits in 2019 came to $11.6 billion — 13.5 per cent ($1.8 billion) below the 2018 level.

Residential construction posted relatively good numbers in the province, with permits up 2.5 per cent ($15.1 million) on a monthly basis and 4.2 per cent year-over-year ($24.7 million). However, total residential permits in 2019 were down $773.5 million (9.9 per cent) compared to 2018.

The value of non-residential building construction permits contracted in December by 2.0 per cent ($8.1 million) and were off by 24.8 per cent ($129 million) compared to the previous December. Total non-residential permits for 2019 were down by over $1 billion (18.4 per cent) compared to 2018.

Nationally, permit value was up 7.4 per cent on a monthly basis but down 1.8 per cent compared to a year earlier.

Building permit statistics provide a sense of where the construction sector is heading in terms of planned spending. The statistics refer to the construction of buildings only and do not include engineering projects such as waterworks, sewers, pipelines, highways, etc.

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