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Investment in building construction, September 2019

Released: 2019-11-22

Total investment in building construction

$15.6 billion

September 2019

1.0% increase

(monthly change)

Total investment in building construction rose 1.0% from August to $15.6 billion in September. Investment was up for both the residential (+1.2% to $10.8 billion) and non-residential (+0.4% to $4.9 billion) sectors. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction rose 0.7% to $12.9 billion. Total investment grew 2.4% from the second to the third quarter.

For more information on housing, please visit the Housing Statistics Portal.

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

Ontario leads the provinces in residential investment

Investment in the residential sector was up in five provinces in September, led by Ontario (+$89.4 million) and Quebec (+$43.3 million). Nationally, investment in the single (+1.4% to $5.4 billion) and multi-unit (+1.1% to $5.3 billion) dwellings increased compared with August. In Ontario, investment in multi-unit dwellings rose for the fourth consecutive month, up 1.9% in September to $2.1 billion.

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

Infographic 1  Thumbnail for Infographic 1: Residential construction investment, September 2019
Residential construction investment, September 2019

Non-residential investment edges up

Investment in the non-residential sector edged up 0.4% to $4.9 billion in September. The commercial component increased 0.7% to $2.8 billion, with Quebec posting the largest increase (+$11.2 million) due to ongoing developments in the eco-neighborhood of Estimauville in the city of Québec. Nationally, the industrial and institutional components were largely unchanged.

Infographic 2  Thumbnail for Infographic 2: Non-residential construction investment, September 2019
Non-residential construction investment, September 2019

Third quarter 2019: Investment in single homes in Ontario up sharply

Total investment in building construction grew 2.4% from the second quarter to $46.4 billion in the third quarter, driven by increased investment in single homes in Ontario (+10.4%).

Investment was up in every component of the non-residential sector in the third quarter with the largest increase in British Columbia (+5.5%).

On an unadjusted basis, quarterly investment in non-residential new construction rose 11.5% year over year to $7.0 billion in the third quarter, reflecting gains in the commercial component (+19.5% to $3.9 billion).

Investment in residential new construction was largely unchanged year over year at $16.6 billion in the third quarter. Lower investment in singles (-7.3%) and doubles (-2.0%) was offset by increases in row homes (+13.6%) and apartments (+5.2%).

  Note to readers

Unadjusted data for the current reference month are subject to revision as a result of 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 quarter's 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 in January 2018, building permits received from municipalities for structures coded as cottages, regardless of value, are classified to structure type "cottages."

Effective November 23, 2018, table 34-10-0175-01 contains data on both the residential and non-residential sectors. 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 October will be released on December 23.


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

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