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Special Report

Canada Construction
Research Brief

August 2023

Building Intentions Experience Second
Consecutive Month of Healthy Gains

Conditional interest rate pause aided construction. After the Bank of Canada’s conditional rate pause in March, construction intentions appeared to gain some momentum. In May, the total value of building permits issued rose 12.6 per cent monthly, followed by a 6.1 per cent increase in June. While these recent upticks were mainly fueled by the non-residential sector, which saw a 20.4 per cent monthly rise in June, residential development intentions also began to trend up over the first half of the year. As of the second quarter, the value of residential building permits issued rose 2.9 per cent compared to the end of last year, largely driven by a 12.4 per cent increase in multifamily development. Despite building activity appearing to reach an inflection point, single-family construction continued to lag. This resulted in total residential permitting being down 16.8 per cent annually as of June, due to rising interest rates pushing many builders to the sidelines. 

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