OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian building permits issued in November fell 19.6 percent on widespread declines in the energy-producing province of Alberta, which had seen a boom in October, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
The decline - far greater than the 3.0 percent drop forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll - was the greatest since the 26.7 percent retreat seen in August 2014.
Alberta saw record demand in October as contractors rushed to apply for permits ahead of planned changes to the province's building codes. The frenzy cooled off in November, dragging down the entire Canadian market.
The value of residential building permits dropped by 17.8 percent in November while non-residential permits nose-dived by 22.7 percent.
High prices for single-family dwellings are contributing to a shift in demand for apartments. From January to November, 66.2 percent of new residential units approved were multi-family dwellings.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Nick Zieminski