February 7, 2018 / 1:47 PM / 9 months ago

Canada building permits rise in December on residential plans

The city's industrial zone looms over residential neighborhoods in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada May 14, 2017. Picture taken May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian building permits rose more than expected in December, boosted by plans to build single-family homes in Ontario, which took steps to cool the Toronto market earlier last year, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday.

The overall seasonally-adjusted 4.8 percent increase in building permits topped economists’ forecasts for a 2 percent gain. November was upwardly revised to a decline of 7.3 percent from the initially reported 7.7 percent decline.

Residential permits rose 8 percent nationally, as the province of Ontario saw a 15.7 percent jump in construction intentions for single-family homes.

The Ontario government implemented a number of measures last spring to rein in rampant price increases in Toronto and the surrounding areas. While single-family building permits declined in Toronto in December, that was offset by increases in the nearby Barrie and Kitchener regions.

Plans for multi-family homes, which include condominiums and townhouses, also drove permits higher, with construction intentions led by British Columbia.

Nonresidential permits dipped 0.6 percent as a decline in plans for commercial and institutional buildings offset a jump in the industrial component.

On a non-adjusted basis, building permits rose 10.4 percent in 2017, the biggest increase since 2010, as both residential and non-residential building plans increased.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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