The value of building permits issued in Canada during November tumbled to the lowest level since January, 2012, due mainly to a slowdown in housing and non-housing construction in the province of Ontario, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Building permits slid 17.9 per cent to $6.2-billion, the biggest monthly drop in 19 months in percentage and value terms, following a 15.9-per-cent increase in October. Statscan revised its October estimate from a 15-per-cent gain previously.
The decline in November was far steeper than the 7.6-per-cent drop forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Despite the setback in November, permits issued in the first 11 months of 2012 was 11 per cent higher than in the same period of 2011 and surpassed the pre-recession peak in 2007.
Residential permits fell 6.8 per cent over all, led by Ontario where a slump was partially offset by gains in the western provinces and Quebec. Single-family housing permits slipped 4 per cent while multifamily dwellings fell 10.8 per cent.
In the non-residential sector, permits fell 30.6 per cent in November following a 53.6 per cent increase in October.
Compared with November 2011, the value of residential permits was down 1.9 per cent while that of non-residential permits was 3.7 per cent higher, Statscan said.