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Investment in new housing construction, August 2018

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Released: 2018-10-22

Investment in new housing construction decreased 2.2% from August 2017 to $5.1 billion in August, the first year-over-year decline since May 2014. The decrease in August was attributable to lower spending on single homes, semi-detached homes and row houses.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Investment in new housing construction, by type of dwelling
Investment in new housing construction, by type of dwelling

Investment declined in five provinces, with Ontario (-$121.1 million), Alberta (-$56.9 million) and Saskatchewan (-$38.2 million) reporting the largest declines. In all three provinces, lower investment in single homes was the main contributor to the decrease. Conversely, British Columbia reported the strongest growth, a result of increased spending on apartment building construction.

In Nova Scotia (+$6.7 million) and Prince Edward Island (+$4.0 million), investment was up for all components. In Nova Scotia, the gain was due to increased spending on single homes (+$3.3 million) and apartment building (+$2.5 million) construction. In Prince Edward Island, the increase was led by apartment building construction (+$2.6 million).

Investment in single home construction was down by 18.6% or $513.9 million compared with August 2017. Spending on single home construction declined in eight provinces, mainly in Ontario (-$240.4 million), Quebec (-$97.6 million) and Alberta (-$82.8 million).

Chart 2  Chart 2: Year-over-year change of investment in new housing construction (by dwelling type)
Year-over-year change of investment in new housing construction (by dwelling type)

Spending on row unit construction declined by $53.1 million (-10.1%) in August. Spending was down in six provinces, primarily reflecting a $44.4 million drop in Ontario compared with the same month last year.

Apartment building construction was up 27.4% (+$460.9 million) compared with August 2017. Construction in this component was up in every province, led by Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. Apartment building construction grew by 32.3% (+$171.7 million) in Ontario, while British Columbia (+26.1% or +$135.2 million) posted its largest year-over-year increase since December 2016.

Infographic 1  Thumbnail for Infographic 1: New housing construction investment, August 2018
New housing construction investment, August 2018

  Note to readers

Data on investment in new housing construction (including single-family housing, semi-detached housing, row housing, apartments and condominiums) are not seasonally adjusted, and all comparisons in this release are between August 2017 and August 2018.

Data in table 34-10-0012-01 are available at the national and provincial–territorial levels in both current and constant dollars (base year 2007).

Unless otherwise specified, the highlights refer to current dollars and are ranked in terms of dollar change rather than percentage change.

The August 2018 issue is the final release of this publication. Starting with the September 2018 reference month (November 21 release), the data for this publication will include investments in both residential and non-residential construction and will be released on a monthly basis. The data for this publication will be available under table 34-10-00175.

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