Investment in Canadian building construction drops 1.2 percent in March

Tuesday, 21 May 2019 21:26:43 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

According to Statistics Canada, total investment in building construction decreased 1.2 percent in March to $14.2 billion. Losses in the residential sector (-2.0 percent to $9.4 billion) were partially offset by a small increase in the non-residential sector (+0.5 percent to $4.7 billion).

For the first time, investment in multi-unit dwelling construction exceeded that of singles, making it the largest component for investment in building construction. Although multi-unit investment exceeded single family investment, it remained well short of the record $6.4 billion set in May 2017. While both sectors declined in March, investment in single family homes (-3.4 percent) did so at a faster rate than investment in multi-unit dwellings (-0.5 percent).

Within the non-residential sector, investment in commercial building construction marked its 14th consecutive monthly increase to reach a high of $2.7 billion. Gains for the month were concentrated in British Columbia, where the redevelopment of Vancouver's historic post office is well underway. The mixed-use development will have two new office towers, which will be partially occupied by Amazon.

The industrial component rose 1.3 percent to $896 million in March on the strength of projects in Ontario and Quebec. Two projects that made notable contributions were the McNicoll Bus Garage in Scarborough and the new Radio Canada building in Montréal.

Following 11 consecutive monthly declines, institutional construction investment posted a small overall increase to settle at $1.1 billion. Notably, strength in Nunavut helped to moderate the decline as work on a new $40 million school in Kugaaruk continued.

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