Statistics Canada reports that total investment in building construction increased 1.5% in December, following three consecutive months of declines. Investment in the residential sector reached a record high of $11.1 billion.
On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction increased 1.0% to $12.2 billion in December.
In December, non-residential construction investment remained at $4.4 billion for the third consecutive month. Ontario reported the largest gain—up 2.0% from November—but this growth was offset by declines reported in five provinces.
Investment in commercial building construction edged up 0.3% in December, driven in large part by Ontario’s growth in this sector (+3.6% to $1.1 billion). The construction of large projects, such as Amazon’s Project Python being built in Ottawa, contributed to the rise.
Institutional investment (+0.9%) also increased in December. British Columbia led the growth with the construction of a new RCMP building in Fort St. John.
Conversely, industrial investment edged down 0.2%, with no significant changes reported in any province.
Investment in residential construction reached a record high in December, up 1.9% to $11.1 billion. Single-unit investment continued to show strength for the third straight month, up 2.6%. Eight provinces posted gains, with Ontario (+2.8%), Quebec (+3.1%) and Alberta (+4.6%) accounting for the majority of the growth. Newfoundland and Labrador posted a decline in this component for the second straight month resulting from high-value renovation projects coming to a close.
Nationally, multi-unit investment increased 1.2%. Notable growth was reported in Ontario and British Columbia, attributable primarily to condominium and apartment building construction.
The total value of investment in building construction edged up 0.3% to $46.2 billion in the fourth quarter, driven by gains in the residential sector (+5.0%). Investment in residential buildings reported a record quarter, with both single-unit (+7.9%) and multi-unit (+2.2%) investment posting gains.
Commercial (-13.4%), industrial (-6.4%) and institutional (-3.2%) investments all declined in the fourth quarter, contributing to an overall drop of 9.8% in non-residential investment. The declines in the second and fourth quarters of 2020 reflected the impact of COVID-19 in the non-residential sector. Prior to 2020, the last decrease was posted in the third quarter of 2016.
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