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The Globe and Mail

Canada building permits fall in November on fewer non-residential plans

A construction crane is seen Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 in Montreal.

Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The value of Canadian building permits tumbled more than expected in November on fewer plans for commercial and industrial buildings, though intentions for single-family homes edged up, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday.

The overall 7.7 per cent decrease in building permits from October exceeded economists' forecasts for a decline of 0.3 per cent. October was upwardly revised to an increase of 4.4 per cent from an initially reported 3.5 per cent gain.

Permits for nonresidential structures declined 12.3 per cent, with drops seen across the commercial, industrial and institutional components.

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Permits for single-family homes were up 0.6 per cent, driven by increases in Ontario. But plans for multifamily buildings declined 10.1 per cent, pulling residential building permits as a whole down 4.6 per cent.

Canada saw robust construction activity last year with housing starts exceeding economists' estimates but activity is seen slowing in 2018 amid tighter mortgage rules and expected interest rate increases.

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