The value of building permits issued in March was down 5.8 per cent to $7 billion, Statistics Canada says.

It’s the second consecutive month of declines in permits and was driven by lower intentions for multi-family units in British Columbia and Ontario. However, all provinces except Ontario and Quebec registered declines.

Residential permits were down 8.4 per cent from February to $4.6 billion, with the multi-family sector down 20.9 per cent to $1.9 billion. This was the first time since July 2016 that multi-family permits had slipped below $2 billion. Apartment building intentions were down in 8 provinces, especially BC and Ontario.

The single-family sector was up 3 per cent to $2.7 billion with Ontario and Alberta recording the strongest gains.

In total, permits 16,821 dwellings were issued across Canada in March, down 17.4 per cent from February. Multi-family accounted for 10,745 units (down 19.4 per cent from February) and single-family intentions totalled 6,076 (down 4.8 per cent).

Non-residential permits slipped 0.5 per cent to $2.4 billion, led by commercial buildings. Seven provinces saw declines led by Saskatchewan, Ontario and Yukon.

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