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Special Report

Canada Construction
Research Brief

May 2023

Commercial Construction Surges, While Residential
Development Stalls Amid Rising Costs

Construction climbs, but advances in residential sector needed. In March, the total value of building permits in Canada advanced 11.3 per cent monthly, led by a 32 per cent rise in non-residential development. This boost in commercial permitting activity was mainly due to an uptick in the industrial sector, as builders attempt to keep pace with robust demand. On the residential side, construction intentions continued to lag population growth as the value of building permits dropped roughly 1 per cent monthly in March, translating into a 16 per cent annual decline. British Columbia, however, saw hefty gains, as residential permitting advanced 31 per cent monthly. These gains were largely offset by an 8 per cent drop in Ontario and Québec, as well as a 5 per cent decline in Alberta.

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