June 5 (Bloomberg) -- 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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