Canada building permits fall in August, housing cools

Reuters

* Value of all permits issued in August falls 21.2 pct fromJuly

* Nonresidential permits down 37.9 percent

* Residential permits decline 5.4 percent

OTTAWA, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Canada's construction sectorshowed more weakness than expected in August, with a sharpdecrease in plans for commercial and institutional buildingswhile housing showed a more modest decline, according toStatistics Canada data on Monday.

The seasonally adjusted value of building permits issued inAugust fell 21.2 percent to C$6.34 billion ($6.16 billion) afterjumping 21.4 percent in July to a record high, Statscan'srevised numbers showed. Analysts in a Reuters survey hadforecast a 7.4 percent decrease in August.

"With this decline, the trend in the value of buildingpermits has become relatively flat since the beginning of 2013,"Statscan said.

The report supported Finance Minister Jim Flaherty'scomments last month that the housing sector is "calming" after aperiod of worry that a post-recession housing boom would turninto a bubble. Permits for housing fell 5.4 percent in Augustfollowing a 4.2 percent rise in July, and were down 7.1 percentfrom a year earlier.

Permits for multi-family dwellings fell 8.3 percent andthose for single-family units slipped 3 percent.

The value of nonresidential building permits tumbled by 37.9percent, nearly erasing the 47.3 percent gain in the previousmonth. The commercial component was down 45.8 percent and plansfor institutional buildings also fell 36.7 percent. The value ofpermits in the industrial component fell just 1.2 percent.

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