Calgary region building permits rise in April – Nearly 13% gain from a year ago

The value of building permits in the Calgary region jumped to $772.7 million in April, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Wednesday that permits were up 40.6 per cent from March and increased by 12.9 per cent year-over-year.

The gains in Calgary were driven by higher construction intentions for commercial buildings, added the federal agency.

Across Canada, building permits worth $7 billion were issued in April, up 10.5 per cent from March. The advance in April was the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The recent upswing came after a downward trend in the total value of building permits that began in the fall of 2012, said Statistics Canada.

Construction intentions for residential dwellings rose 21.0 per cent to $4.4 billion. It was the second straight monthly increase and the highest level in 10 months. In the non-residential sector, the value of permits fell 3.6 per cent to $2.6 billion, following two consecutive monthly gains.

In Alberta, total building permits of $1.5 billion were down 12.5 per cent from the previous month but up 10.0 per cent from a year ago.

The residential sector saw building permits of $739.1 million, which represented a decline of 8.8 per cent from March but an increase of 15.4 per cent from April 2012. The non-residential sector in Alberta dropped by 15.9 per cent from March to $733.8 million. However, it was up 5.0 per cent from last year.

Todd Hirsch, senior economist with ATB Financial, said March’s building permit value for the province was a record high at $1.68 billion.

“Residential permits slipped by about $70 million but remain close to the high-water marks set in recent months,” he said. “The moderation in permits since last April is consistent with other residential indicators such as new home prices and housing starts. All three are suggesting the housing market will remain in a healthy balance in the coming months.

“Non-residential permits saw a sharper pull-back in April, but these kinds of building permits are typically more volatile than their housing counterparts. By far the most significant contributor to the drop in April was government and institutional projects, which fell from $514 million to $69 million. Commercial and industrial building permits still posted increases.”

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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