Canada building permits fall in November on fewer nonresidential plans

An apartment block is pictured in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia June 20, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Lee

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian building permits tumbled more than expected in November on fewer plans for commercial and industrial buildings, though intentions for single-family homes edged up, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday.

The overall 7.7 percent decrease in building permits from October exceeded economists’ forecasts for a decline of 0.3 percent. October was upwardly revised to an increase of 4.4 percent from an initially reported 3.5 percent gain.

Permits for nonresidential structures declined 12.3 percent, with drops seen across the commercial, industrial and institutional components.

Permits for single-family homes were up 0.6 percent, driven by increases in Ontario. But plans for multifamily buildings declined 10.1 percent, pulling residential building permits as a whole down 4.6 percent.

Canada saw robust construction activity last year with housing starts exceeding economists’ estimates but activity is seen slowing in 2018 amid tighter mortgage rules and expected interest rate increases. [nL1N1P40I2]

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe