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September 2022 building construction investment
November 14, 2022

Investment in Canadian building construction declines in September

Statistics Canada reports that investment in building construction declined 0.6 to $20.9 billion in September, with most of the weakness coming from Quebec (-3.4%). The residential sector decreased 1.3% to $15.4 billion. Conversely, the non-residential sector rose 1.6% to $5.4 billion.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction continued its downward trend since the last peak recorded in February 2022, decreasing 1.5% to $12.3 billion.

Quebec drags down residential sector

Investment in the residential building construction decreased 1.3% to $15.4 billion in September. Residential construction investment has seen little growth since February, with both single-family and multi-family construction remaining relatively stable since February.

Single-family home investment declined 1.3% to $8.5 billion in September and has stayed around this value since May.

Investment in multi-unit construction was down 1.4% to $7.0 billion. Quebec (-5.6%) caused most of the fall, with its fourth consecutive decline in this component following the peak in May.

Ontario rebounds with strong month in non-residential construction

Investment in non-residential construction increased 1.6% to $5.4 billion in September. Overall, eight provinces reported gains, with Ontario (+2.0%) leading the way in each component.

Industrial construction investment advanced 2.9% for the month and is up 24.0% year over year. This was the 10th consecutive monthly increase in this component.

Commercial construction investment rose 1.1% to $3.0 billion in September. Overall, eight provinces posted gains, and two reported declines.

Institutional construction investment was up 1.6% to $1.4 billion. Ontario (+2.5%) led the way, with the construction of a new elementary school in Hamilton and a post-secondary school in Toronto contributing to the gains.

Third quarter of 2022 in review

The total value of investment in building construction advanced 1.0% to $62.8 billion in the third quarter, the fourth consecutive quarterly increase. Investment in residential buildings increased 0.7% due to multi-unit construction. The non-residential sector increased 2.1% to $16.1 billion.

Single-family home investment edged down 0.2% to $25.5 billion in the third quarter. The multi-unit component increased for the fourth quarter in a row, rising 1.8%, with most of the growth coming from British Columbia (+21.9%).

Investment in non-residential construction was up 13.4% compared with the third quarter of 2021. Industrial construction investment had its largest quarterly growth since the third quarter of 2017, up 6.8% to $3.0 billion. Commercial construction investment increased 2.6% to $9.0 billion, the sixth consecutive quarterly increase. Institutional construction investment declined 2.1% to $4.1 billion, with most of the decline coming from Quebec (-7.7%).


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