HPAC Magazine

Investments in Building Construction Down Slightly in September

Non-residential building seeing more positive investment growth versus residential investment nationwide.

November 10, 2021   By HPAC Magazine

The latest report from Statistics Canada shows that investment in building construction across Canada remained relatively flat (-0.7% to $17.5B) in September, continuing a downward trend that started in May.

The greatest decrease was seen in the residential construction sector where investment decreased 1.6% in September, yet the investment in this component was 21.6% higher than the pre-pandemic value in February 2020.

Overall investment in single family homes was down 0.6% to $7.0 billion nationwide. An outlier in this segment was Nova Scotia which continued to show growth (+13.3%), its fourth increase in five months.

Multi-unit residential construction investment decreased in seven provinces, down 2.9% nationally to $5.8 billion. The difference in value between multi-unit and single-unit investment had been narrowing for the past few years, but a noticeable gap has opened up since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commercial investment grew by 1.8% to $2.6 billion in September, with Ontario and Quebec leading the way. Office building construction projects in Toronto and Ottawa led to gains in Ontario, following three consecutive monthly declines.

Investment in the institutional buildings rose 2.9% to $1.3 billion, with a 7.9% increase in Quebec, related to educational building projects in the cities of Montreal and Laval.

Industrial construction investment edged up slightly 0.1% to $824 million, with gains in five provinces and Saskatchewan showing the largest monthly percentage increase (+11.5%), reflecting investment in utility and agricultural buildings.

Overall, non-residential construction investment rose 1.8% to $4.8 billion. Despite eight increases since the beginning of the year, non-residential investment was still 6.3% lower than pre-pandemic values.

Total investment in building construction decreased 7.5% to $53.0 billion in the third quarter of 2021, following substantial growth over the previous four quarters.

Residential construction decreased 10.5% compared with the second quarter, with declines in both single- and multi-unit investment. And non-residential investment increased 1.8% to $14.1 billion, the third consecutive quarterly increase.

statcan.gc.ca

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