Metro Vancouver building permits leap 131% in April

New Statistics Canada data cites changes in regional development costs for the burst of building permits this April

What happened: April saw a burst of building permit activity in Metro Vancouver as developers got ahead of development cost changes.

Why it matters: As a result, B.C. residential permit values nearly doubled their previous record, and Canadian values hit an all-time high.

Planned changes to Metro Vancouver development costs this past May pushed April building permit values to new heights.

The region issued $1.8 billion in permits this April, up nearly 88% month-to-month and up 131% year-over-year.

In its data release, Statistics Canada said the increase was tied to developers getting ahead of the first cost changes in Metro Vancouver since 1997.

The activity meant B.C. nearly doubled its previous record for residential permits. At $2.2 billion for the month of April, residential permits across the province – primarily for multi-family buildings – rose 138% over March, and by nearly 126% over April 2018.

Helped by Metro Vancouver, Canadian municipalities issued a record $9.3 billion in permits, up 15% or $1.2 billion from March.

It is the largest increase since May 2007, according to Statistics Canada. British Columbia accounted for most of the gain.

hwoodin@biv.com

@hayleywoodin