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Investment in building construction, November 2018

Released: 2019-01-21

Total investment in building construction

$13.7 billion

November 2018

-2.0% decrease

(monthly change)

Total investment in building construction decreased 2.0% from October to $13.7 billion in November. Both the residential (-2.2% to $9.4 billion) and non-residential (-1.6% to $4.3 billion) sectors declined. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction decreased 2.1% to $11.6 billion.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Investment in building construction
Investment in building construction

Investment in residential building construction

The decrease in total residential investment in November was largely due to declines in Alberta (-$152 million), Ontario (-$72 million) and Quebec (-$56 million), which were partially offset by increased investment in British Columbia (+$81 million).

In the residential sector, investment in single dwelling construction was down 2.0% to $4.9 billion, while investment in multiple dwelling construction (which includes doubles, row homes and apartments) declined 2.5% to $4.5 billion.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Investment in residential building construction
Investment in residential building construction

Investment in residential construction by type of work

Detailed data on investment in building construction by type of work is only available on an unadjusted current dollar basis.

Market share for investment in residential building construction by type of work (excluding minor permits) for November was 48.7% new construction, 48.2% renovations, 1.6% conversions and 1.5% other types of work. The other types of work component includes deconversions, garages and carports, as well as in-ground swimming pools. While the long-term split between the types of work is fairly stable, there is a highly seasonal pattern in market share for renovations and new construction, with the renovation market reaching a low point in the middle of winter (January and February).

Based on type of work, investment in new construction for single dwellings fell 18.5% from November 2017 to $1.9 billion. This decline was partially offset by an 11.1% year-over-year increase in new construction for multiple dwellings to $3.0 billion.

In comparison, investment in renovations for single dwellings declined 2.5% to $3.3 billion year over year, while investment in renovations for multiple dwellings fell 21.5% to $1.6 billion.

Infographic 1  Thumbnail for Infographic 1: Investment in residential construction, November 2018
Investment in residential construction, November 2018

Investment in non-residential building construction

The decrease in investment in the non-residential sector was broad based, with eight provinces posting declines, while Newfoundland and Labrador (+6.0% to $51 million) and British Columbia (+0.3% to $571 million) reported increases.

Investment in each of the three non-residential sectors fell, with the institutional sector (-2.8% to $1.0 billion) posting the largest decline.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Investment in non-residential building construction
Investment in non-residential building construction

Investment in non-residential construction by type of work

New construction accounted for almost half of investment in non-residential building construction (48.9%), while renovations accounted for 38.6% and other types of work represented the balance of investment at 12.5%, mainly deconversions. While the share of investment in other types of work has remained relatively stable, investment in new construction within the non-residential sector has declined as a share of total investment in the sector since the start of the series in January 2015. Conversely, renovations as a share of total non-residential construction investment have continued to increase to offset this decline.

Based on type of work for non-residential construction in November, the year-over-year investment value declined more sharply in new construction (-3.4% to $2.1 billion) than in renovations (-2.5% to $1.7 billion). Meanwhile, other types of work edged down 0.6% to $544 million.

Infographic 2  Thumbnail for Infographic 2: Investment in non-residential construction, November 2018
Investment in non-residential construction, November 2018

  Note to readers

Data presented in this release are seasonally adjusted and are expressed in current dollars unless otherwise stated. Using seasonally adjusted data facilitates month-to-month comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally Adjusted Data – Frequently Asked Questions.

Monthly estimates for constant dollars are calculated using quarterly deflators from the Building Construction Price Index (18-10-0135-01). Typically, the first two months of a quarter use the previous quarters' price level and are revised when the new quarterly price index becomes available.

Detailed data on investment activity by type of building and type of work are now available in the unadjusted current dollar series.

As a result of data source constraints, the total value for "type of work – all" may not equal the sum of its parts (new construction, renovation, conversion, and other). The component required to complete the summation is "type of structure, minor."

In the type of work series "conversions total," one or more residential dwelling units are created from an existing structure. Deconversions, garages and carports, as well as in-ground swimming pools are grouped together in the "other types of work" category.

Effective November 23, 2018, table 34-10-0175 contains data on both the residential and non-residential sector. It replaced tables 34-10-0010, 34-10-0011 and 34-10-0012.

Next release

Data on investment on building construction for December 2018 will be released on February 21, 2019.

Products

Statistics Canada has a new Housing Market Indicators Dashboard. This web application provides access to key housing market indicators for Canada, by province and by census metropolitan area. These indicators are automatically updated with new information from monthly releases, giving users access to the latest data.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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