Investment in building construction, July 2021
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Investment in building construction was down 1.7% to $18.1 billion in July. Residential construction declined for a third consecutive month following a record peak in April, while non-residential construction was up slightly.
On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction declined 1.6% to $13.0 billion in July.
Single-unit construction slows down
Residential construction investment was down 2.6% in July, a third consecutive monthly decline after a sustained period of strong growth from May 2020 to April 2021.
Declines in all provinces brought investment in single-family homes down 4.0% to $7.2 billion. Ontario posted the largest decrease after reaching a record high in April 2021, followed by Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Multi-unit construction investment was down 1.0% to $6.2 billion in July, reflecting decreases in seven provinces. Ontario reported the largest decline, followed by British Columbia and Manitoba.
Institutional sector drives non-residential construction
Non-residential construction investment was up 0.9% in July to $4.6 billion.
Institutional investment posted its ninth consecutive increase (+2.2% to $1.3 billion), with the majority of provinces and territories reporting gains in July. Construction of a York University building in Ontario as well as ongoing construction of secondary schools in Quebec and British Columbia contributed to the national growth.
Commercial investment was up 0.6% to $2.5 billion in July. Alberta posted the highest increase (+6.0%) due to higher spending on office buildings and buildings for trade and services.
Industrial investment was the single component to post a decline in July, edging down 0.2%. Quebec decreased for a second month, while Alberta and Prince Edward Island also had notable declines.
For more information on housing, please visit the Housing Statistics Portal.
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.
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 and quarter-to-quarter 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 the data 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 as 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 non-residential sectors. It replaced tables 34-10-0010-01, 34-10-0011-01 and 34-10-0012-01.
Data on investment in building construction for August will be released on October 13, 2021.
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 automatically updated with new information from monthly releases, giving users access to the latest data.
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).