The Leader-Post January 9, 2014 - REGINA - Building permit values in Saskatchewan totalled $235.1 million (seasonally adjusted) in November, down 37 per cent from $371.8 million in October, but 17 per cent ahead of the $201.3 million in permits posted in November 2012, Statistics Canada said Thursday.
Saskatchewan had the third-highest, year-over-year percentage increase amongst the provinces. Non-residential permits were up 128.4 per cent to $111.2 million on a year-over-year basis.
“Many Saskatchewan cities are reporting record or close to record building permits in 2013,” Energy and Resources Minister Tim McMillan said in a press release Thursday. “Growth at this level is important to keep the economic momentum moving forward which will make 2014 another great year.”
But United Steelworkers economist Erin Weir noted the 37 per cent decline in building permits between October and November was the largest monthly drop of any province and far larger than the national decline of seven per cent. Saskatchewan saw decreases of 45 per cent in non-residential permits and 27 per cent in residential permits in November compared with October.
“While permit values are volatile and one month does not make a trend, Economy Minister Bill Boyd was not shy about trumpeting the monthly increase between September and October,’’ Weir said in a commentary Thursday. “That increase was more than reversed in November, with both residential and non-residential permit values plunging below September’s level in Saskatchewan, even after adjusting for seasonal fluctuations.”
Across Canada, contractors took out $6.8 billion worth of building permits in November, down 6.7 per cent from October.
The federal agency says weaker residential sectors in Quebec and Ontario were the main reasons for the decline.
The total value of permits in the residential sector fell 7.6 per cent month-over-month to $4.1 billion in November.
Building permits for multi-family homes fell 8.7 per cent to $1.9 billion for the month, following two consecutive monthly gains. Permits for single-family homes slipped 6.7 per cent to $2.2 billion.
The non-residential sector fell 5.2 per cent from October to $2.7 billion in November, with six provinces showing declines and four advancing.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba accounting for most of the decrease while. Ontario and Alberta led the four provinces recording gains.
With files from The Canadian Press