Condo strength propels Canada building permits jump

Tue Feb 7, 2012 1:20pm EST
 
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By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A hot Ontario condo market helped boost the value of Canadian building permits to a 4-1/2-year high in December and up 11.1 percent from November, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

The value of permits rose to a seasonally adjusted C$6.8 billion ($6.8 billion), the highest level since June 2007. The increase confounded analysts, who expected a 0.5 percent fall, on average, according to a Reuters survey.

The residential sector jumped 16.1 percent, led by a 28.9 percent leap in construction intentions for multi-family dwellings to C$1.9 billion, the highest level since December 2005.

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"The growth was due to major condominium and apartment building projects initiated in Ontario," the agency said, adding that Toronto led the way.   Continued...