Building permits decline on slump in Ont. condo requests | Money | Toronto Sun

Building permits decline on slump in Ont. condo requests

Last Updated: April 7, 2010 1:02pm

Canadian building permits unexpectedly declined in February as record requests for single family homes failed to offset plunging demand for condominiums in Ontario, Statistics Canada said.

The value of building permits dropped 0.5% to $5.7 billion in Feb., StatsCan said. Residential construction intentions fell 7.5% to $3.7 billion, dragged down by a 52.5% drop in the value of multiple dwellings in Ontario. Countrywide, the value of permits for new condos fell 28.3%.

Economists dismissed the drop in condo permits, saying the figures tend to be highly volatile and don’t point to an imminent drop off in the property market.

“I don’t see anything particularly worrisome in the figures,” Canadian Real Estate Association Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “We are still near record levels of activity on the MLS listing system and still see strong demand.”

Real estate and new housing construction were the main drivers behind Canada’s economic recovery. Interest rates at historic lows coupled with short supply fuelled the property boom.

Economists have said they expect the pace of growth to continue in the first half before higher rates and new taxes in some provinces begin to cool the market.

“For the broader economy, the permits data while having softened over the last four months and suggesting some cooling in the appetite for the new build sector, does not alter the overall profile of the Canadian economy which continues to reflect a better than anticipated economic recovery,” HSBC economist Stewart Hall said in a note.

Hall had expected a gain of 3.4% in a month for new permits, more than the market median for a 2.1% rise.

Demand for single-family homes rose 3% to $2.7 billion, with every province except British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia recording gains. It’s the second straight monthly increase and a record, StatsCan said.

In the non-residential sector, municipalities issued permits worth $2.0 billion, a 16.0% advance following three consecutive months of declines.

The value of commercial building permits jumped 27% to $1.3 billion. The gain was mainly due to intentions to build offices and hotels in Ontario and Quebec, while permit requests for recreational buildings gained in Alberta, StatsCan said.

The value of permits for industrial buildings gained 2.1%,

Across the country, the value of building permits rose in six provinces, led by Quebec. That was primarily due to demand for non-residential permits.

Four provinces fell, with Ontario recording the biggest demand because of the condo slump, StatsCan said.

Posted via web from Toronto Real Estate News, Blog


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Dear Readers, I am a dedicated Toronto, Ontario based real estate professional who has been successfully meeting and exceeding the needs of his clients for past several years. I am actively involved in the insurance, financing, and mortgage industry. Real estate is not only my career – it is my passion. I strive to continuously provide my clients with exceptional service to ensure they are fully satisfied when it comes to their real estate needs. For any real estate related inquires contact me today, I will be happy to assist you. Best wishes, Tariq Sultan

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