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Residential construction investment, second quarter 2018

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Released: 2018-09-04

Investment in residential construction in Canada increased 7.8% year over year to $36.0 billion in the second quarter.

Ontario and Quebec lead national growth in residential investment

Ontario (+$1.1 billion or +8.0%) and Quebec (+$1.1 billion or +15.8%) posted the largest gains in spending on residential construction, followed by British Columbia (+$563.2 million or +10.1%).

Among the Atlantic provinces, Nova Scotia (+$47.7 million or +6.7%) and New Brunswick (+$40.9 million or +9.7%) reported the largest gains compared with the second quarter of 2017, while Prince Edward Island posted its seventh consecutive double-digit year-over-year increase, up 20.5% or $18.9 million.

On the prairies, Manitoba (+$19.1 million or +1.8%) was the lone province to post gains, while Saskatchewan (-$119.6 million) and Alberta (-$95.7 million) reported year-over-year declines in residential investment.

Investment in apartment building construction and renovations contribute to the increase

Every component except single homes and mobile homes contributed to the year-over-year increase in spending on residential construction in the second quarter. The growth was led by spending on apartment buildings, up $1.2 billion or 26.7%, followed by investment in renovations, up $1.0 billion or 6.7%.

Apartment building construction investment was up year over year in seven provinces, led by Quebec (+$615.0 million) and followed by Ontario and British Columbia. Prince Edward Island reported a $9.5 million increase to $12.4 million, the highest level since the second quarter of 2013.

Spending on renovations increased in six provinces, led by Ontario (+$582.6 million) and Quebec (+$276.9 million). Among the Atlantic provinces, New Brunswick (+$24.8 million) and Nova Scotia (+$21.1 million) were the only provinces to post gains for this component. In Western Canada, investment on renovations was led by British Columbia (+$239.0 million) and, to a lesser extent, by Manitoba (+$32.4 million). The largest declines for this component were in Alberta (-$101.0 million) and Saskatchewan (-$26.6 million).

In the second quarter, investment in single homes declined by $327.6 million, the first year-over-year drop since the fourth quarter of 2015. Investment was down in four provinces, led by Ontario (-$296.3 million), Saskatchewan (-$72.7 million) and Manitoba (-$37.3 million).

  Note to readers

Data on residential construction investment are not seasonally adjusted and all comparisons in this release are between the second quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2018. Data are expressed in current dollars and are available at the national and provincial levels.

With this release, data for the first quarter of 2018 have been revised.

Unless otherwise stated, the highlights are ranked in terms of dollar change rather than percentage change.

Next release

Data on residential construction investment for the third quarter will be released on December 4.

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