Tue, 11 May 2021

OTTAWA, Canada, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Canada's building permits rose 5.7 percent to 10.9 billion Canadian dollars in March 2021, Statistics Canada said Tuesday.

March marked the third consecutive month of record-setting numbers, reflecting a booming residential sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Constant dollar estimates are available, for the first time, for the building-permit series dating back to 2011.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), building permits increased 4 percent to 8.1 billion Canadian dollars, a number only surpassed by the April 2019 value of 8.2 billion Canadian dollars.

The residential sector soared 15.9 percent, clearing the mark of 8 billion Canadian dollars for the first time in March.

Multi-family dwellings surged 24.5 percent compared with February to an unprecedented 4.3 billion Canadian dollars.

Single-family homes also reached new heights, jumping 7.6 percent to 3.8 billion Canadian dollars.

Three consecutive monthly highs led to a record-setting first quarter, up 12.7 percent to 31.2 billion Canadian dollars compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. Gains were reported in all components.

The first three months of 2021 were the highest posted in the residential sector, which was up 15 percent.

Single-family homes grew 22.8 percent, showing stronger quarterly growth than multi-family dwellings, which rose 8.3 percent. Both reached new heights by breaking previous records set in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Despite increasing 7.5 percent to 9.1 billion Canadian dollars in the first quarter, construction intentions for non-residential buildings have not fully recovered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, remaining well below the peak of 10.6 billion Canadian dollars set in the fourth quarter of 2019.

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