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Investment in building construction, April 2021

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Released: 2021-06-10

Total investment in building construction

$19.9 billion

April 2021

6.3% increase

(monthly change)

Total investment in building construction increased 6.3% to $19.9 billion. Residential construction investment performed strongly in April, rising for a 12th consecutive month. In contrast, non-residential construction has not fully returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. However, it increased by 0.9% this month.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction was up 5.8% to $15.3 billion in April.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Investment in building construction, seasonally adjusted
Investment in building construction, seasonally adjusted

Residential investment continues to grow

Residential construction reported an 8.1% gain, bringing total investment to $15.3 billion in April.

Investment for single-family homes was up 8.9%, as all provinces except Nova Scotia posted increases. Ontario accounted for the majority of the growth (+12.8%), driven by renovation projects in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Toronto and new construction in the CMA of Hamilton. Prince Edward Island reached a record high in this component, surging 84.0% to $101 million, mainly attributable to renovation projects in the province.

Multi-unit construction rose 7.2% to $6.7 billion in April. Quebec posted the largest increase, with high-value projects such as an apartment building in the city of Lévis contributing to its 12.0% jump to $1.8 billion. British Columbia also reported notable growth, up 8.2% to $1.3 billion.

Infographic 1  Thumbnail for Infographic 1: Investment in residential building construction, April 2021
Investment in residential building construction, April 2021

Non-residential investment increases slightly

Non-residential construction investment advanced 0.9% to $4.6 billion in April, continuing to post small gains for the fifth consecutive month.

Investment in institutional construction was up 1.4% to $1.2 billion. The largest increase was reported in Ontario (+2.7%), based on high-value construction projects such as the Michael Garron hospital in Toronto.

Industrial construction investment was up 1.8% to $847 million, with the help of major ongoing construction projects in the cities of Toronto and Montréal.

Five provinces posted increases in commercial investment, edging up 0.3% in April. Only Ontario and Prince Edward Island have exceeded pre-pandemic levels, with Prince Edward Island reaching a record high.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Investment in residential building construction, seasonally adjusted
Investment in residential building construction, seasonally adjusted

Infographic 2  Thumbnail for Infographic 2: Investment in non-residential building construction, April 2021
Investment in non-residential building construction, April 2021

  Note to readers

Based on the extraordinary events and business disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada continues to make adjustments to the models used to estimate investment in building construction. As a result of these adjustments, there may be larger-than-normal revisions to the data.

Revision

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 for the previous two months have also been revised.

Data presented in this release are seasonally adjusted with current dollar values unless otherwise stated. Using seasonally adjusted data allows 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 in 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.

Prior to January 2018, building permits for cottages with a value greater than $60,000 were automatically reclassified to the structure type "single." Beginning in 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 the 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 May will be released on July 12.

Products

A study titled "Price trends and outlook in key Canadian housing markets" looks at where the housing market was at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, sheds light on what has happened since then and explores the challenges facing the Canadian market going forward.

Statistics Canada has a "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 updated automatically 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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