Canada building permits decline for third month in April

FILE PHOTO: New condominium towers are seen under various stages of construction in the Yaletown district of downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada November 19, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian building permits declined in April as there were fewer construction plans for single-family homes in Ontario, where a lack of supply has driven up home prices in some markets, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday.

Permits dipped 0.2 percent, the third monthly decrease in a row. Figures for March were upwardly revised to show a decline of 4.9 percent from the previously reported 5.8 percent decrease.

Residential building permits were down 2.5 percent as a decline in plans for single-family homes offset a gain in intentions to build multi-family buildings, such as apartments.

Permits for single-family homes tumbled 8.1 percent, driven by declines in Ontario. In Toronto, Canada’s largest city, construction plans for single-family homes fell to the lowest level since January 2016.

Economists say tight supply is partly to blame for home prices that have been surging in Toronto until recently. Data earlier this week showed the pace of price gains cooled in May in the wake of new housing rules aimed at dampening demand.

Non-residential building permits rose 4.1 percent in April, lifted by higher intentions for institutional and industrial structures.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Nick Zieminski