Canadian municipalities issued building permits worth $6.9 billion in December, up 11.1% from November, according to a report by Statistics Canada.

The figure is the highest level since June 2007.

The value of building permits was up in five provinces, led by Ontario, Alberta and Quebec. British Columbia reported the largest decrease.

Both the industrial, commercial, institutional (ICI) and residential construction sectors recorded permit value increases.

In the ICI sector, the value of permits grew 2.8 per cent to $2.4 billion in December. Alberta posted a large increase, which more than offset declines in most provinces.

Permits in the commercial component of the ICI sector increased 41 per cent to $1.6 billion in December. The increase was largely attributable to higher construction intentions for office buildings and warehouse facilities in Alberta, as well as hotels in Ontario.

Permits in the industrial component decreased 24 per cent to $353 million in December. The decline was mostly due to lower construction intentions in all provinces except Quebec.

Permits in the institutional component declined 42 per cent to $402 million. The largest declines were in construction intentions for educational institutions in Ontario, health care facilities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and government buildings in British Columbia.

In the residential construction sector, meanwhile, the value of permits increased 16.1 per cent to $4.5 billion. It was the second consecutive monthly increase. Ontario accounted for much of the growth recorded at the national level.