Statistics Canada says the value of building permits issued by municipalities declined 4.1 per cent to $6.5 billion in December, following a 6.6 per cent decrease in November.
A drop in plans for commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings in Ontario and British Columbia were responsible for much of the December decrease at the national level.
The agency says the value of building permits for 2013 as a whole edged down 0.1 per cent from 2012 to $80.8 billion.
The value of residential permits fell for a second consecutive month in December, slipping 9.3 per cent to $3.7 billion.
In the non-residential sector, the value of permits rose 3.7 per cent to $2.8 billion in December, following a 4.5 per cent decrease the previous month.
The value of permits was down in seven provinces in December, with Ontario and British Columbia posting the largest declines.