September 8, 2008 / 12:39 PM / in 9 years

Canada housing permits increase in July

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian building permits unexpectedly rose 1.8 percent in July from June, led by a sharp rise in projects to build multifamily housing, Statistics Canada said on Monday.

Analysts had on average expected a 2 percent decline in the month, following a 5.3 percent drop in June, amid signs of weakness in the housing market.

The value of permits in the residential sector climbed 2.7 percent to C$3.7 billion ($3.49 billion), largely as a result of a 9.6 percent jump in the value of multifamily housing permits in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. Single-family permits fell 1.4 percent.

In the nonresidential sector, permits increased 0.6 percent in value to C$2.7 billion ($2.55 billion) thanks to strength in the Saskatchewan mining sector which helped boost industrial permits by 26 percent.

Statscan said overall building permits increased in six provinces in July. The most significant gains were in Quebec.

* LINK to Statscan report: here

($1 = $1.06 Canadian)

Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Janet Guttsman

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