Statistics Canada says building permits worth $5.8-billion were issued in January, up 1.7 per cent from December.
The increase in construction intentions came from every province except Alberta and Quebec.
The agency says the value of permits in the residential sector was up 17.6 per cent in January to $3.8-billion, following six consecutive months of decline.
But, construction intentions in the non-residential sector fell 19.2 per cent to $2-billion, following a 7.8 per cent decrease the previous month.
Statscan says while the increase in residential permits offset the decline in non-residential ones, the total value of building permits has been trending downwards since October 2012.
Altogether, municipalities approved the construction of 16,002 new dwellings in January, down 15.6 per cent from December.