Investment in building construction, December 2021
Investment in building construction increased by 1.9% to $18.4 billion in December. Gains were reported in both the residential and non-residential sectors.
On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction grew 1.2% to $11.5 billion.
Single-unit construction drives residential sector
Residential construction investment rose 2.2% to $13.4 billion in December, with Ontario accounting for more than half of the monthly increase.
Investment in single family homes was up 3.5% to $7.4 billion with increases posted in eight provinces.
Multi-unit construction investment increased by 0.7% to $6.1 billion. Gains from Ontario (+1.0%) helped to offset declines posted in Quebec (-1.0%) and Saskatchewan (-5.5%). New Brunswick and Nova Scotia also showed notable strength.
Non-residential investment increases for sixth straight month
Commercial investment advanced by 1.7% to $2.7 billion. Alberta (+6.5%) led the way, partly because of the BMO convention centre expansion project in Calgary.
Industrial construction investment increased by 1.6% to $842 million, led by Ontario (+2.4%) and Quebec (+1.9%).
Conversely, investment in institutional construction posted its first decline since late 2020, with eight provinces reporting decreases.
Overall, non-residential construction investment increased by 1.1% in December to $4.9 billion.
Non-residential investment reports best quarter in four years
Investment in non-residential construction was up 4.1% to $14.7 billion, representing the largest quarterly increase since the third quarter of 2017. Gains were led by the commercial component (+4.9%), which posted its fourth consecutive quarterly increase. Institutional (+4.2%) and industrial components (+1.2%) showed strength as well.
Investment in residential construction was up 1.0% compared with the third quarter, with most of the growth coming from Ontario. Newfoundland and Labrador also posted notable gains following several quarterly declines. Single-unit investment was up 1.4% with increases in eight provinces, while multi-unit investment edged up 0.5%.
Overall, the total value of investment in building construction increased by 1.8% to $54.2 billion in the fourth quarter.
Annual review of 2021
Overall, investment in building construction had a record year, jumping 19.3% to $218.2 billion in 2021. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction advanced moderately by 3.0%, reflecting strong growth in construction costs in 2021.
Investment in residential construction was up 28.4% to $162.0 billion, with single-unit investment accounting for more than half of the gain. Similarly, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported a 20% jump in construction starts from 2020.
Despite a strong fourth quarter, investment in non-residential construction saw a slight decrease of 0.9% to $56.2 billion in 2021. The decrease reported by commercial (-5.4%) and industrial (-3.4%) construction was somewhat offset by growth in institutional investment (up 12.0% to $15.2 billion).
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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 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.
Data on investment in building construction for January will be released on March 14, 2022.
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.
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