The value of building permits in the Calgary region soared in December, according to the latest data released Tuesday by Statistics Canada.
The federal agency said permits in the Calgary census metropolitan area ballooned to $666 million during the month, an increase of 115.1 per cent from a year ago and up 100 per cent from the previous month.
In Alberta, total building permits rose to $1.3 billion, up 31.5 per cent on a monthly basis and an increase of 50.6 per cent on an annual basis.
Residential building permits in the province of $643.7 million rose by 7.0 per cent from November and jumped by 37.8 per cent from December 2010.
Non-residential building permits in Alberta increased by 69.2 per cent from November and by 65.6 per cent from a year ago to $661.9 million.
Across Canada, Statistics Canada said municipalities issued building permits worth $6.8 billion in December, up 11.1 per cent from November and up by 21.1 per cent from December 2010.
This is the highest level since June 2007.
The residential sector saw permits jump to $4.5 billion, up 16.1 per cent from November and up 19.4 per cent from December 2010.
The non-residential sector experienced a monthly increase of 2.8 per cent and a year-over-year hike of 24.3 per cent to $2.4 billion.
“In Calgary, the advance was largely due to construction intentions for commercial buildings and single-family dwellings,” said Statistics Canada.
Will van’t Veld, economist with ATB Financial, said much of the public infrastructure stimulus in Alberta is winding down so the “surge” in building activity in the province is likely related to “corporate optimism” — meaning corporations gearing up for increased activity in Alberta’s energy sector.
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald