The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities slipped 5.7% to $7.8 billion in February according to new data from Statistics Canada.
The drop was largely due to builders pulling back on their intentions for multifamily developments and the residential sector was down 8.5% overall to $4.9 billion, the lowest level since April 2017.
Ontario and BC saw the largest drop for multifamily although StatsCan noted the overall strength of the sector compared to a year earlier.
In BC, the value of permits for multifamily developments was down enough to erase gains in other sectors and the overall total was down 11.5% to $1.4 billion in February.
Non-residential intentions nationwide were down 0.5% month-over-month to $2.9 billion as commercial permits dropped $114 million following sharp increases in November and December 2018.
The value of institutional permits rose 11.6%, the first increase in five months. A high-value permit issued for the Qikiqtani Correctional Healing Centre in Nunavut contributed to the gain.