Data from Statistics Canada reported a higher than expected figure for building permits during the month of December. Building permits soared by 11.30%, exceeding forecasts of 5.60% by a wide margin after November’s decline of -19.90%. Residential permits climbed by 16.30%, mostly pushed by multi-family homes and condos jumping by 39.10%. Single-family homes reported a small contraction of -0.10%. According to the statistics office, all regions of the country registered growth with Alberta recording the biggest gains of 26% despite being hit by the ongoing softness in the oil patch. The Bank of Canada opted to leave monetary policy unchanged during their first meeting of the year in January, leaving rates at 0.50%, keeping borrowing costs accommodative for home buyers. Following the building permits figure, the Canadian dollar gained further versus the US dollar, with the USDCAD pair dropping to 1.3936.