UPDATE 1-Canada Jan building permits soar, residential sector hits record

Thu Mar 6, 2014 8:34am EST

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* Value of permits jumps by 8.5 percent in January

* Residential permits leap 26.3 pct, reach record high

OTTAWA, March 6 (Reuters) - The value of building permits issued in Canada unexpectedly jumped by 8.5 percent in January as construction intentions in the residential sector hit a record high, Statistics Canada data indicated on Thursday.

The overall increase was far greater than the 1.0 percent rise predicted by market analysts. Statscan revised December's drop to 4.8 percent from an initial 4.1 percent fall.

Permits for residential dwellings - a figure watched closely amid fears of an overheated real estate market - jumped by 26.3 percent to an all-time high of C$4.60 billion ($4.18 billion). The previous record was the C$4.54 billion seen in May 2013.

The monthly figures are traditionally volatile and large swings are not unusual. Permits for multi-family homes rose by 42.8 percent after a 21.9 percent fall in December while intentions for single-family homes advanced by 15.0 percent.

The value of non-residential building permits fell by 14.6 percent, as construction intentions for institutional and industrial buildings tumbled by 41.8 percent and 24.7 percent, respectively.

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