Canada Building Permits Rose 4.8% in December
By Paul Vieira
OTTAWA--Canadian building permits climbed in December as demand to build housing units increased at their fastest pace in 2017, led by single-family residences outside of Toronto and multifamily units like condominiums in British Columbia.
The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities rose 4.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis to 8.06 billion Canadian dollars ($6.43 billion) in December, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. Expectations were for a 2% rise, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada.
Data for November were revised upward, and now indicate permits issued fell 7.3% to C$7.69 billion from an earlier estimate of a 7.7% decrease.
On a year-over-year basis, permits issued increased 11.5%.
Building permits are meant to provide an early indication of construction activity in Canada and are based on a survey of 2,400 municipalities, representing 95% of the country's population. A permit gives a contractor the right to build but doesn't necessarily suggest that construction has commenced.
The permits data tend to be volatile on a month-over-month basis.
According to the permits report, residential permits advanced 8% in December from the previous month to C$5.16 billion. On a year-over-year basis, they rose 4.6%. The data agency said construction intentions for single-family homes led the rise in December, especially in Ontario markets outside of the greater Toronto area. The agency added the value of permits issued for multifamily dwellings in British Columbia, Canada's western-most province, almost doubled from the previous month.
Meanwhile nonresidential permits--covering industrial, office and government buildings--edged downward 0.6% to C$2.90 billion. On a 12-month basis, permits for this category are up over 26%.
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February 07, 2018 09:25 ET (14:25 GMT)Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.