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New home construction in Richmond Hill, Ont.Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

The value of building permits rose 20.9 per cent to $6.4-billion in May after a 21.5-per-cent decline in April.

Statistics Canada reports the advance was driven by higher construction intentions, particularly for commercial buildings in Quebec and Alberta and multi-family dwellings in Ontario.

Permits in the non-residential sector rose 50.9 per cent to $2.7-billion after two consecutive monthly declines.

StatsCan says the gain came mainly from higher construction intentions in the commercial component in Quebec, Alberta and Ontario.

The agency reports the value of permits in the residential sector increased 5.3 per cent to $3.7-billion, largely due to advances in the value of multi-family dwellings in Quebec and Ontario.

The total value of building permits increased in every province except Nova Scotia.