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Edmonton tops in building permits approvals, GTA last

January 25, 2023

Alberta’s biggest cities topped 2022 Municipal Benchmarking Study released by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) released its ranking how local development processes, approvals, and charges affect housing affordability and supply across Canada.
Edmonton was ranked No. 1 out of 21 cities studied, Calgary No. 3—with Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg all ranked among the top 10 for the speed of approvals and lower costs for development permits. Vancouver, in comparison, ranked No. 12.
“Edmonton has a combined ranking of first across the three categories of approval timelines, government charges, and planning features. Helping Edmonton achieve this rank was receiving the best score of all 21 municipalities in planning features,” the study found.
“We’ve undertaken this work to showcase where municipal governments have the policies and systems in place to support supply and affordability, and to provide a path forward for improvements where things aren’t working as well,” said CHBA CEO Kevin Lee.
CHBA found the cost of government charges levied by municipal governments on new low-rise housing developments averages almost $62,000 per unit. In Toronto per-unit government charges are at the high end—reaching more than $189,000. 
The cost of government charges levied by municipal governments on new high-rise housing developments averages more than $41,000 per housing unit.
Vancouver government charges for new high-rise condos are at the highest at more than $125,000.
Edmonton’s typical government charges per housing unit are $29,359 for a new low-rise home and $6,559 for a high-rise condo.
Vancouver scored 76 per cent in the CHBA study. By comparison, Edmonton scored 91 per cent.
Vancouver’s average approval timeline for developments is 15.2 months, according to CHBA. Compared to CHBA’s 2020 report, this wait has increased by roughly two months, said Homebuilders Association Vancouver CEO Ron Rapp.
Edmonton’s average permit approval time was 7.2 months—higher than second-place Charlottetown at 4 months.
All Greater Toronto and Hamilton-area municipalities included in the study were ranked in the bottom 10.


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