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Calgary area building permits soar in March

Calgary area building permits soar in March

Building permit values for the Calgary region soared in March, topping $600 million on the strength of planned multi-family projects and institutional buildings, says Statistics Canada.


Permits in the Calgary census metro area reached $601.1 million, up 66.1 per cent from February and an increase of 34.9 per cent year-over-year, it said.


Residential permits in the Calgary region rose 36.8 per cent from February to $349.1 million. Non-residential permits rose by 140.5 per cent to $252 million — an annual increase of 40.4 per cent. For Alberta, total permits of $1.3 billion were up 11.1 per cent month-over-month and 4.6 per cent year-over-year.


The province saw residential permits of $811.3 million for March which was down 10.7 per cent from the previous month but up 8.6 per cent year-over-year. Non-residential permits rose by 80.4 per cent from February to $515.2 million but were off by 1.1 per cent from a year ago.


Nick Ford, economist with ATB Financial, said residential permits in the province fell to their lowest point this year behind one of the largest drops in the country.


“Despite a slowdown in economic activity and a weak start to the year, the value of Alberta’s non-residential permits finally staged a comeback in March,” he said. “The total value of this sector’s permits nearly doubled the previous month’s value in our province.


“Many of Alberta’s indicators such as housing starts, new housing investment and today’s building permit numbers suggest that construction companies and home builders remain optimistic about our economy.”


Nationally, permits increased for the first time in three months by 11.6 per cent to $6.9 billion. That was also up 13 per cent from a year ago.


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