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Canada June Building Permits Decline 10.3% on Fewer Condo Plans

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Aug. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian building permits fell for the first time this year in June, as contractors scaled back intentions for new condominiums.

The value of municipal permits fell 10.3 percent to C$6.65 billion ($6.38 billion), the lowest since March, following a revised 5.8 percent gain in May, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Quebec, which underwent a construction strike in June, led declines with a 31.1 percent drop. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had forecast a drop of 2.8 percent, the median of 10 estimates.

Canada’s housing market has defied expectations of a hard landing after a surge in home prices prompted some analysts and policy makers to warn of a bubble. Home sales in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada’s two largest real estate markets, soared in July by 16 percent and 40 percent respectively, realtors said last week. Even with the drop in June, building permits are 16 percent higher since December.

Residential permits fell 12.9 percent to C$3.97 billion in June, Statistics Canada said, led by an 18.8 percent decline in multiple-unit dwellings. Permits for single-family home construction fell 7.4 percent.

Permits for non-residential construction fell 6.1 percent to C$2.68 billion, as building plans fell 9.5 percent for commercial space and 21.5 percent for industrial.

While Quebec led declines, drops were broad-based with seven of the country’s 10 provinces recording lower building intentions. The value of permits issued in Ontario fell 10.6 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Theophilos Argitis in Ottawa at targitis@bloomberg.net

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