The value of Canadian building permits issued in May jumped 8.9 per cent on plans for more construction of residential buildings, particularly in the red-hot market of Ontario, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected a 2.6 per cent increase. Statscan revised April's data to show a 0.5 per cent advance, compared with an initially reported fall of 0.2 per cent.
Residential building permits rose by 10.8 per cent on strength in Ontario, the most populous of Canada's 10 provinces. Permits for multi-family buildings soared by 15.0 per cent, while single-family units posted a 7.4 per cent gain.
The data suggests some easing in the tight supply of housing that economists blame for home prices that have been surging in Toronto.
Non-residential building permits rose 5.6 per cent in May, the third consecutive monthly gain, on increased plans for commercial structures such as retail and wholesale buildings.