A sign that the pandemic has had an impact on the construction sector in Quebec, the value of building permits has fallen by around 12% since January. And it is mainly the non-residential sector that has suffered.
This is one of the elements found in the economic analysis published Friday by Quebec International. The value of permits issued by cities for the construction of residential and non-residential buildings rose from $ 13.75 billion in 2019 to $ 12.05 billion this year between January and August.
In the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Quebec, the plunge was 22% to reach $ 1.2 billion. While the residential sector continued to grow (10%), non-residential construction sites experienced a significant slowdown, a decrease of 61%.
Quebec International’s analysis mentions that the commercial sector has been one of the hardest hit in recent months, with a 68% drop in the value of permits compared to the previous vintage.
As for the good performance of the residential sector in the Quebec City CMA, it must be said that real estate sales have exploded in several regions of the province since the spring deconfinement.
According to the Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers of Quebec (APCIQ), the resale market in the Quebec City CMA recorded 6,800 transactions, an increase of 18.5%, compared to the previous year.
Moreover, despite the break in April, housing starts have increased by 13% since January compared to 2019. They went from 3,813 to 4,305.
“A retrospective look in the Quebec City region shows that, even if 2020 marks a decrease compared to the previous year at the same period, the $ 1.2 billion of building permits issued this year remain similar to the value average of permits issued from January to August, between 2015 and 2019 ”, nuance in its Québec International document.
For the Montreal CMA, the total decrease in the value of building permits was 12%. Unlike Quebec City, the residential sector recorded a slight decline (1.7%). For the non-residential sector, the value of permits fell from $ 3.29 billion to $ 2.52 billion.
As for housing starts, they fell by about 6%, from 17,481 to 16,465. The resale market also slowed by 3%, according to data from the APCIQ. There have been 34,907 transactions since January.