Statistics Canada’s March report on the total value of building permits issued across the country shows a drop of $1.1 billion, more than 13 per cent.
The drop was the largest recorded in about six years, but significantly less than the 23 per cent Stats Can had projected for the country.
In Ontario, construction activity fell about 12.8 per cent to $500 million with values dropped in all but the industrial sector. Residential construction permits dropped by $370 million, or 14.8 percent and non-residential construction activity dropped 9.4 percent.
Seven provinces reported declines in permit activity including Ontario which was down 12.9 per cent. British Columbia lead the decline at 19.4 per cent and Quebec at 18.1.
Across the country, the total value of residential building permits dropped by $4.6 billion or 13.1 per cent. The value of permits issued for single-family dwellings fell 15.3 percent to $2.2 billion with the biggest declines in PEI (-31.8 percent) and Quebec (-27.0 percent). Multi-family construction permits dropped 11.1 percent to $2.5 billion with Ontario falling 13 per cent and BC falling more than 24 per cent.
According to Statistics Canada, non-residential construction permits dropped by 13.3 per cent – the for the third consecutive month in March with $2.8 billion worth of permits issued in March.
The value of commercial permits also fell – 19.7 percent to just below $1.6 billion and institutional permits dropped 15.7 percent to about $602 million.
Industrial permits bucked the trend across Canada, climbing 14.9 percent to $583 million) were Manitoba recorded an increase of 185.9 percent because of several large properties in the Winnipeg area.