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Demand for commercial buildings on rise

Strong demand for new commercial space was one of the factors driving a surge in new building activity in Canada re...


Strong demand for new commercial space was one of the factors driving a surge in new building activity in Canada recorded for May.
Statistics Canada recorded the value of building permits overall to be $6.8 billion, 8.5% higher than the previous high set in October last year. The figure was 21.4% higher than the figures for this April.
Calgary and Vancouver were responsible for nearly 7% of the overall gain in May, with record highs recorded for these provinces. Manitoba and Saskatchewan also had strong growth, as did New Brunswick on the east coast.
According to the Statistics Canada report, the commercial sector accounted for the “lion’s share” of the gains in the non-residential sector, with contractors taking out permits worth a record $2.1 billion. “This was by far the largest monthly figure on record for the commercial component,” said Statistics Canada, noting that it surpassed the previous record high of $1.6 billion set in October 2006.
The institutional sector had rebounded in May, thanks mostly to school projects. Industrial permits reversed their decline and rose 21.3% in May to $419 million. This increase was attributed to permits for new manufacturing plants in Ontario.
Statistics Canada concluded by saying that the rise in building permits in the non-residential in the beginning of 2007, “are consistent with low office vacancy rates in several large centres, high profits recorded by Canadian Corporations and a vigorous retail sector.”