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While the total value of Canadian building permits issued in July inched downwards, residential permits saw strong gains, according to data released today by Statistics Canada.

Residential building permits issued by municipalities across the country in July amounted to $5 billion, an 8.7 per cent increase over June, although the value of all permits issued was down 0.7 per cent to $7.7 billion. Statistics Canada attributed this overall decline primarily to waning non-residential construction intentions in Ontario and Alberta.

Real estate hotbeds Ontario and British Columbia posted the biggest gains dollar-wise. Ontario residential permits valued about $2.07 billion in July, up from $1.7 billion the month prior, a 20.7 per cent increase. Out west, British Columbia had $1.03 billion worth of building permits, up from about $743 million in June, a 39.2 per cent leap.

The overall residential building permit increase is part of a bigger trend. In June, the value of residential building permits was up 16.7 per cent nationwide.

For July, the residential increase comes largely on the shoulders of multi-family dwelling permits. The value of these permits rose 14.3 per cent over June to a total of $2.5 billion. These gains come from four provinces, with British Columbia and Ontario leading the way.

Permits for single-family dwellings also saw a modest increase in value of 3.6 per cent to $2.5 billion.

In all, municipalities across the country gave the go-ahead to 19,555 new dwellings in July, a 10.6 per cent increase over June. This was the result of more multi-family projects, which were up 13.5 per cent to 13,384 new units, and single-family projects, which numbered 6,171, up 4.8 per cent from the previous month.

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