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Crews work on a house in Milton, Ont., in this file photo.

Power Power/ The Globe and Mail

Statistics Canada says municipalities issued $7-billion worth of building permits in April, up 10.5 per cent from March and far better than the month-to-month decline that analysts had expected.

The agency says this was the fourth consecutive monthly increase after a downward trend in the total value of building permits that began in the fall of 2012.

It says the April advance came largely from higher construction intentions for multifamily dwellings such as condos and apartments in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.

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Analysts had been expecting a four per cent decline from March to April.

Overall declines including both residential and non-residential projects were actually recorded in five provinces, with Alberta and Ontario posting the largest.

Construction intentions for residential dwellings rose 21 per cent to $4.4-billion in a second straight monthly increase.

In the non-residential sector, the value of permits fell 3.6 per cent to $2.6-billion, following two consecutive monthly gains.

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