Canada building permits fall in June on weak residential sector

A condominium construction site is seen in downtown Montreal, July 13, 2009. REUTERS/Shaun Best

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian building permits unexpectedly dropped by 2.3 percent in June from May on weakness in the residential sector, Statistics Canada data indicated on Wednesday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted a 1.0 percent increase after the revised 4.8 percent advance in May.

The value of residential permits dropped by 5.7 percent, pulled down by an 8.0 percent decrease in multi-family dwellings. Of the 10 provinces, only New Brunswick in Atlantic Canada posted a gain.

Permits for non-residential structures rose by 4.6 percent, with increases in Ontario and Alberta more than offsetting declines in six other provinces.

The value of permits in the institutional component surged 16.3 percent after four consecutive monthly losses.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum