More evidence that housing construction continues to slow across the nation: the latest numbers from Statistics Canada (StatCan) show that the total value of building permits taken out in July fell to $11.2B, a difference of -6.6% from last year.

Declining values in the residential sector pulled down the national aggregate, dropping -8.6% year over year to $7.6B. While the non-residential sector also experienced an annual decline, it was less steep at -2.1%.

Much of the pain is concentrated in Ontario, which effectively wiped out stronger performance in British Columbia and Quebec. In fact, reports StatCan, “weak construction intentions” were prevalent in six of the 10 provinces.

Permits to build single-family houses, in particular, were down in Ontario at -13.9%, offsetting gains in six other provinces and contributing to a national decline of -57%. However, StatCan notes, “Despite the decline, this component remained 14.8% higher than the same month of 2021.”

July building permit valuesStatistics Canada

The multi-family home segment also lagged by -32.8% YoY in Ontario. That wasn’t the case on the west coast, however, with strata permit values up 9.3% in BC.

READ: Multifamily Housing Sales are Down More Than 30% in the GTA

On the non-residential side, while there were gains in the commercial and institutional segments, permit values plummeted by -16.9% for industrial projects, leading to an overall decline of $3.6B.

As has been the trend, Ontario led in terms of permit value losses for newly-built industrial space, down -31.1% (the third consecutive monthly decline), and a return to “more typical levels” after nearing the billion-dollar mark in January and April.

Permits to build in the commercial sector were fairly flat nation-wide, but saw enormous gains in Alberta of 72.8%, reflecting migration from other provinces to available plots in the Calgary and Edmonton areas. 

READ: Vancouver Industrial Market has Canada’s Lowest Vacancies

Meanwhile, the institutional building sector is booming, with construction intentions up 7.9%. This is led by huge growth in BC (207.2%). Overall, says StatCan, this is an improvement from a weaker June showing, and has also been boosted by several large project permits.