December building permits rebound

Mon Feb 7, 2011 9:01am EST
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - A sharp rise in building permits for multi-family dwellings helped boost the overall value of Canadian building permits by 2.4 percent in December from November, Statistics Canada said on Monday.

The total rise was slightly less than the 3.0 percent predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll and followed substantial declines in the previous two months. All figures are seasonally adjusted.

Multi-family building permits rose 55.3 percent in December to the highest level since April 2008. The value of permits for single-family units also rose, by a more modest 3.6 percent.

The value of non-residential permits tumbled by 22.0 percent to the lowest level since January 2010. Commercial building permits were off by 21.7 percent, institutional by 38.0 percent, and industrial by 0.4 percent.

The institutional side had been boosted by government stimulus spending, which is being wound down. The largest declines were in permits for medical facilities in Quebec and educational institutions in Ontario.

The overall rise capped a year in which permits rose by 19.8 percent from 2009, led by a 27.6 percent increase in residential permits.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Louise Egan;; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)