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Investment in building construction, May 2019

Released: 2019-07-22

Total investment in building construction

$15.2 billion

May 2019

2.2% increase

(monthly change)

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.

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

Gap in investment between multi-unit and single-unit dwellings continues to grow

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.

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

Infographic 1  Thumbnail for Infographic 1: Investment in residential construction, May 2019
Investment in residential construction, May 2019

Non-residential investment continues to edge higher

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.

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

Infographic 2  Thumbnail for Infographic 2: Investment in non-residential construction, May 2019
Investment in non-residential construction, May 2019

  Note to readers

Unadjusted data for the current reference month are subject to revision based on late responses. Data for the previous month have been revised. Seasonally adjusted data are revised for the previous two months.

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 (table 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.

Prior to January 2018, building permits for cottages with a value greater than $60,000 were automatically reclassified to structure type "single." Beginning with January 2018, regardless of value, building permits received from municipalities coded as cottages remain classified as a cottage.

Effective November 23, 2018, table 34-10-0175-01 contains data on both the residential and non-residential sector. It replaced tables 34-10-0010-01, 34-10-0011-01 and 34-10-0012-01.

Next release

Data on investment in building construction for June will be released on August 21.

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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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