Canada Building Permits Rise as Housing Work Approaches Record

Canadian building permits rose a second month in October as residential projects approached a record.

The value of municipal permits rose 7.4 percent to C$7.19 billion ($6.75 billion), Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists forecast a 1 percent gain according to the median of nine responses to a Bloomberg survey.

Residential permits rose increased 6.4 percent to C$4.41 billion, close to the C$4.55 billion record set in May. Single-family housing permits rose 4.7 percent to C$2.38 billion, while multi-unit dwellings such as apartments and condominiums gained 8.4 percent to C$2.02 billion, an increase of 18.3 percent from a year earlier.

Canada’s housing market has retained its strength after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty introduced tighter mortgage-lending rules last year on concern about overbuilding of condominiums in Toronto and Vancouver. Low mortgage rates are supporting demand, and Bank of Canada policy makers said yesterday that housing has been stronger than they forecast.

The number of residential units approved by municipalities rose 6.9 percent in October to 18,823, Statistics Canada said today. The number of units approved for single-family homes fell 2.1 percent and multiple-family project approvals increased 12.2 percent.

The share of Canadians predicting home values in their neighborhood will rise reached 40 percent, the greatest since March 2012, according to the Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index published Dec. 2.

For non-residential construction projects, the value of permits advanced 9.0 percent to C$2.79 billion, leaving them 23.3 percent below the level set in October 2012.

Statistics Canada today also boosted its estimate for September’s increase in total permits to 4.1 percent from 1.7 percent.

The value of permits was 6.2 percent lower in October than the same month a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at gquinn1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net; David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net

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