October 6, 2016 / 12:47 PM / 2 years ago

Canada August building permits jump on condos, commercial buildings

Construction workers chat on a condominium building site in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian building permits issued in August surged far more than expected on higher construction intentions for condominiums and commercial buildings, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.

The 10.4 percent increase well exceeded economists’ expectations for a 3.0 percent gain. July was revised up to a rise of 3.4 percent from the previously reported 0.8 percent.

Permits for residential buildings increased 9.6 percent, driven by a 14.7 percent jump in multi-family dwellings, which include condominiums, apartments and townhouses. It was the third month out of four that the segment has increased.

Plans to build single-family homes rose 6.0 percent, with higher construction intentions seen in Ontario and Alberta, which is still recovering from prolonged weakness in oil prices.

Non-residential permits rose 11.6 percent on higher intentions to build retail complexes and recreational buildings. Industrial permits also rose on plans to build utilities facilities.

A 15 percent tax on foreign homebuyers in Vancouver came into effect in early August but it did not appear to have an impact on building plans in British Columbia. The value of residential permits was up 26.6 percent.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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