Housing permits continue to fall in Canada
Building permits in Canada decreased 4.9% in September 2011 compared with August, marking the third consecutive monthly decline, according to Statistics Canada, the government’s national database. Permit activity fell in six provinces, led by British Columbia and Alberta.
The decline nationally was mainly attributable to both the residential and non-residential sectors in British Columbia and the non-residential sector in Alberta. Building permits increased in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.
In the residential sector, however, building permit activity declined 1.0% to C$3.6 billion, following a 6.0% drop in August. The value of permits declined in six provinces, led by British Columbia.
Municipalities issued C$1.4 billion worth of building permits for multi-family dwellings in September, down 2.5% from August and the second consecutive monthly decline. British Columbia accounted for much of the decrease, followed by Quebec. Increases were posted in four provinces, the largest of which was in Ontario.
The value of building permits for single-family dwellings edged down 0.1% to C$2.2 billion, following a 4.0% decrease in August. Declines in the single-family dwelling permit activity in seven provinces, led by British Columbia and Nova Scotia, more than offset gains in Alberta, Quebec and Manitoba.
In the non-residential sector, the value of permits fell 11.0% to C$2.0 billion in September, a third consecutive monthly decline. Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario accounted for much of the monthly decline at the national level. Non-residential permits rose in five provinces, led by Saskatchewan and Quebec.
The value of commercial building permits edged down 0.5% to C$1.3 billion in September, after falling 19.6% the previous month. Lower construction intentions for a wide variety of commercial buildings in most provinces were behind the declines. However, the decreases were partly offset by combined gains in office buildings and recreational facilities, primarily in Ontario.
In the institutional component, municipalities issued permits worth C$368 million, down 40.8% from August and the second consecutive monthly decrease. This was the component’s lowest level since January 2011. Institutional construction intentions fell in seven provinces. The largest decreases were in building permits for educational institutions in Ontario and British Columbia and medical facilities in Alberta.
Canada’s economy is also suffering from rising unemployment, as the nation shed a net 54,000 jobs in October, its biggest monthly drop since the beginning of the global recession.
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GP reorganizes engineered wood business
Georgia-Pacific Wood Products has announced that it will make “strategic changes” to its engineered lumber division to facilitate more direct involvement with its customer base and expand its services.
GP will provide its engineered lumber customers with inside and outside account management personnel, business development support, engineering and technical services, and software development and support, the announcement said. The Atlanta-based company will continue to supply a complete engineered lumber product offering, including laminated veneer lumber (LVL), solid sawn and LVL flanged I-joists, glulam beams and rim board.
The strategy coincides with the Feb. 12, 2012, expiration of GP’s distribution agreement with distributor BlueLinx Holdings, and will allow GP to begin to phase out its Broadspan line of engineered wood products late in the first quarter of 2012.
Last week BlueLinx announced its own plans to launch a complete line of privately branded engineered lumber products in February 2012.
"This new strategy will help expand market opportunities for GP, our customers, distributors and supply partners," said Mark Luetters, president of Georgia-Pacific Wood Products. "We feel this will help us better meet customer needs through a strong network of independent distributors with a primary focus on engineered lumber products."
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WOLF flexes promotional muscle on Facebook
York, Pa.-based WOLF, the supplier of kitchen cabinets and building products, is giving away a cabinet and vanity top package through a Facebook-only sweepstakes.
Visitors to WOLF’s Facebook page who are over the age of 18 may enter the contest by completing a simple form. The sweepstakes ends on Dec. 9.
“WOLF Classic Cabinets have quickly built a following among the independent dealers we serve,” said Jim Groff, WOLF’s chief marketing officer. “By creating this second Facebook giveaway, we’re able to extend that excitement to builders, homeowners and others, and respond to the enormous popularity of our August giveaway.”
WOLF developed its cabinet line as part of a broad strategic shift that began in 2010. The company, once a traditional two-step distributor, has positioned itself as a sourcing company that focuses on identifying or developing products designed solely to meet the needs of independent dealers.
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