Statistics Canada reports that total investment in building construction increased 2.2% in May to $15.2 billion. Gains in the residential sector (+2.8% to $10.4 billion) led the increase, while the non-residential sector edged up 0.9% to $4.8 billion. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction rose 1.8% to $12.7 billion.
Investment in multi-unit dwellings rose 7.6% in May to $5.5 billion, while investment in single-unit dwellings declined 2.2% to $4.9 billion. Growth in multi-unit dwelling investment was led by higher investment in British Columbia, which accounted for approximately three-quarters of the national increase, and stemmed from large projects such as the redevelopment of the Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby.
Provincially, non-residential investment was modestly higher in British Columbia (+$21 million) and Ontario (+$20 million). These gains were partially offset by weakness in Alberta (-$10 million).
Of the three components in the non-residential sector, the industrial component posted the largest gain (+1.6% to $911 million) due to projects such as the Toronto Transit Commission’s new bus garage and Maple Leaf Foods’ plant in London, Ontario.
The commercial component increased for the 16th consecutive month in May (+1.2% to $2.7 billion), as investment in British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan outpaced declines in Alberta and New Brunswick.
Investment in the institutional component, which includes hospitals and schools, edged down 0.5% from the previous month. This was the fourth consecutive monthly decline.