OTTAWA  - The value of Canadian building permits rose more than expected in October, driven by increased construction intentions for commercial and residential buildings, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.

The 3.5 per cent overall increase from September exceeded economists' forecasts for a gain of 1.5 per cent. September was upwardly revised to 4.9 per cent from a previously reported 3.8 per cent.

Non-residential building permits jumped 5.5 per cent, led by intentions for commercial buildings, as Quebec and Ontario planned more warehouses and office buildings. Both provinces have seen their unemployment rates fall as their economies have picked up.

Permits for industrial buildings also rose 14.2 per cent on construction intentions for factories and plants in Alberta, which is recovering from the oil price shock two years ago.

Residential permits rose 2.3 per cent after three consecutive months of declines. In Ontario, single-family building permits rose 3.3 per cent, while multi-family permits surged 23 per cent on townhouses and condominiums.

It was the first time since May that residential permits have increased in Ontario. Toronto home sales and prices have fallen since the provincial government announced measures in April to cool the real estate market but there have been recent signs that the market is stabilizing after a weak summer.