Saturday, April 08, 2006

Canadian Building Permits Fell in January

The value of Canadian building permits issued in January fell a seasonally adjusted 19.3 percent from December's record level but still equaled the average monthly value in 2005, Statistics Canada said on Monday.

"The value of building permits cooled off in January from record levels set at the close of last year. Intentions rose for only one component, single-family homes," the government agency said in its daily bulletin.

"Low mortgage rates are still having a positive impact on the housing sector, as is the favorable job situation," it said, adding its latest release on investment intentions showed housing spending should be flat in 2006 after 2005's record high.

The 21.4 percent retreat on the residential side in January was mainly the result of a marked decline in the multi-family component in the Toronto area, after a rush to buy permits before the end of 2005 to avoid higher development charges this year, it said. Excluding Toronto, the value of residential permits declined by only 5.2 percent.

The non-residential side lengthened a downward trend that started in July, falling 14.3 percent to the lowest level since January 2005.


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