Friday, April 07, 2006

Canada's Building Permits Soar

Statistics Canada says Canada's building boom showed no signs of abating in 2005 as the total value of construction permits soared above $60 billion for the first time.

Contractors took out a record $60.7 billion in building permits, 9.3 per cent higher than in 2004, the statistics agency reported this week.

The year was capped by a record month in December, when the level of building permits hit $6.3 billion.

StatsCan said December's gain was "the result of a huge jump in the number of approved multi-family projects in Toronto."

Toronto led the way with $1.2 billion worth of permits — more than four times the monthly average during the first 11 months of the year — as developers tried to beat the introduction of higher development charges and building permit fees.

"There is increasingly a rush at the beginning of the year to apply for permits since municipalities typically review and implement new charges at the beginning of the year," housing analyst Will Dunning said.


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