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Canada Building Permits Rise 1.1% in April on Residential Work

Canadian building permits rose for the first time in three months in April on an increase in residential construction.

The value of municipal permits rose 1.1 percent to C$6.04 billion ($5.53 billion), following a 3.2 percent decline in March, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa.

Economists forecast a 4.2 percent gain, according to the median of 9 responses to a Bloomberg survey.

Residential permits climbed 2.0 percent to C$3.75 billion.

Demand for homes has been supported by some of the lowest mortgage rates in decades. Canadian home sales rose in April at the fastest pace since August as a surge in transactions in Vancouver and Toronto offset a cooling elsewhere.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has said the housing market is heading for a “soft landing” and consumer debt loads will stabilize around record highs.

Single-family housing permits rose 2.8 percent to C$2.15 billion, while multiple-unit projects rose 1.1 percent.

Permits for non-residential construction fell 0.4 percent to C$2.29 billion. Commercial projects such as offices fell 14.8 percent to C$1.28 billion.

Work on institutional buildings including schools and hospitals rose 37.2 percent to C$664 million.

Industrial permits rose 10.5 percent to C$345 million.

The value of permits was 13.4 percent lower in April than the same month a year earlier, the largest annual drop since August.

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