That more than undid a 10.5 percent surge in December and affected both the broad residential and non-residential sectors.
"Contractors took out $4.2 billion worth of permits in the residential sector, down 6.6 percent following three consecutive monthly gains," StatsCan said. "In the non-residential sector, municipalities issued permits worth $1.8 billion, down 23.1 percent, following a 0.3 percent increase in December."
For all types of residential dwellings, municipalities across the country issued permits for 17,961 new homes in January, the report said.
In all three of the components of the non-residential sector – commercial, institutional and industrial -- permit values were down, the agency said.