UPDATE 1-Canada Feb building permits drop on multi-family housing

Tue Apr 8, 2014 8:41am EDT
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* Value of permits falls 11.6 pct vs forecast of 2.7 pct drop

* Residential permits down 21 pct, biggest drop since 2009

* Non-residential permits increase 6.6 pct

OTTAWA, April 8 (Reuters) - The value of building permits issued in Canada tumbled by 11.6 percent in February from January as construction intentions for multi-family homes fell sharply and in every province across the country, Statistics Canada reported on Tuesday.

The decline was steeper than the 2.7 percent drop forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll and followed an 8.1 percent increase in permits issued in January.

Permits for residential dwellings, closely watched for signs the overheated housing market is cooling, fell 21 percent in the month from a record high value in January.

The percentage drop was the biggest since January 2009 although the value of residential permits, at C$3.6 billion ($3.3 billion), matched levels last seen in February 2013.

Permits for multi-family dwellings plummeted 31.5 percent, again the biggest drop since 2009, with the provinces of Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta showing the biggest decreases. Permits for single-family homes fell 12 percent, pulled down mostly by Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia.

The value of non-residential building permits gained 6.6 percent in February after a 15.4 percent decline in January. Permits rose 14.9 percent for institutional buildings, 26.8 percent for industrial buildings and were down 0.3 percent for commercial buildings.   Continued...