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Building construction cools in August: Statistics Canada


October 18, 2021
By Crane & Hoist Canada Staff

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Investment in building construction decreased two per cent in August to $17.7 billion, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

This represents the fourth consecutive monthly decline. Residential construction was down 2.9 per cent for the month, while investment in non-residential construction crept up 0.6 per cent.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction declined 2.6 per cent to $12.7 billion in August.

Residential construction slows

Residential construction investment decreased 2.9 per cent in August, with declines posted in every province except for a slight increase in Nova Scotia.

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Investment in single family homes was down 2.6 per cent to $7 billion, with Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia posting the largest declines. Despite a fourth consecutive monthly decrease, single unit construction was 25.6 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Multi-unit construction investment declined in all provinces, down 3.3 per cent nationally to $6 billion in August.

Non-residential construction gains

Non-residential construction investment rose 0.6 per cent in August to $4.7 billion.

Institutional investment posted a 10th consecutive monthly increase (+1.8 per cent to $1.3 billion), driven by gains in Ontario (+4.3 per cent) and Quebec (+2.2 per cent). This was the highest level of investment in institutional construction since March 2012.

Commercial investment was mostly unchanged in August (+0.1 per cent), with gains in seven provinces offsetting the declines in Ontario (-0.5 per cent), British Columbia (-1.3 per cent) and Nova Scotia (-2.4 per cent).

Industrial construction edged up 0.2 per cent for the month, led by investment in Ontario.

Investment in residential building construction, August 2021. Image: Statistics Canada