March 8, 2018 / 1:36 PM / a year ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Canada Jan building permits rise 5.6 pct on strength in Ontario

(Fixes reference in final paragraph to say that permits for commercial buildings rose by 8.9 percent, not non-residential buildings)

OTTAWA, March 8 (Reuters) - The value of Canadian building permits rose by 5.6 percent in January, the most in eight months, on higher construction intentions for multi-family homes in Ontario, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

The increase - significantly greater than the 1.3 percent advance predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll - was the biggest since the 12.9 percent jump seen in May 2017. Statscan revised December’s gain to 2.5 percent from an initial 4.8 percent, partly to reflect changes in how the seasonally adjusted data is compiled.

The value of permits for multi-family dwellings in Ontario soared 71 percent on strength in Toronto, Canada’s largest city. This more than offset a 39.7 percent decline seen in December.

The Ontario government implemented a number of measures last year to rein in rampant price increases in Toronto and the surrounding areas.

The total value of permits reported by municipalities in Toronto increased by 25.5 percent, thanks largely to increased building intentions for multi-family dwellings, a category that includes condominiums and town houses.

Permits for commercial buildings across Canada rose by 8.9 percent, thanks mainly to strength in Ontario.

Reporting by David Ljunggren Editing by Bernadette Baum

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