Alberta leads Canadian decline in construction investment

Across the country, both the residential and non-residential building sectors fell, says StatsCan

Total investment in building construction in Canada decreased two per cent from October to $13.7 billion in November due largely to a hefty decline in Alberta, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported on Monday that the decline nationally was because of decreases in Alberta (-$152 million), Ontario (-$72 million) and Quebec (-$56 million). Those declines were partially offset by increased investment in British Columbia (+$81 million).

Nationally, both the residential (-2.2 per cent to $9.4 billion) and non-residential (-1.6 per cent to $4.3 billion) sectors fell.

“In the residential sector, investment in single dwelling construction was down 2.0 per cent to $4.9 billion, while investment in multiple dwelling construction (which includes doubles, row homes and apartments) declined 2.5 per cent to $4.5 billion,” said StatsCan.

construction“Market share for investment in residential building construction by type of work (excluding minor permits) for November was 48.7 per cent new construction, 48.2 per cent renovations, 1.6 per cent conversions and 1.5 per cent other types of work. The other types of work component includes deconversions, garages and carports, as well as in-ground swimming pools. While the long-term split between the types of work is fairly stable, there is a highly seasonal pattern in market share for renovations and new construction, with the renovation market reaching a low point in the middle of winter (January and February).

“Based on type of work, investment in new construction for single dwellings fell 18.5 per cent from November 2017 to $1.9 billion. This decline was partially offset by an 11.1 per cent year-over-year increase in new construction for multiple dwellings to $3.0 billion. In comparison, investment in renovations for single dwellings declined 2.5 per cent to $3.3 billion year over year, while investment in renovations for multiple dwellings fell 21.5 per cent to $1.6 billion.”

The federal agency said investment in non-residential dropped the largest in the institutional sector, falling 2.8 per cent to $1 billion.

“New construction accounted for almost half of investment in non-residential building construction (48.9 per cent), while renovations accounted for 38.6 per cent and other types of work represented the balance of investment at 12.5 per cent, mainly deconversions. While the share of investment in other types of work has remained relatively stable, investment in new construction within the non-residential sector has declined as a share of total investment in the sector since the start of the series in January 2015. Conversely, renovations as a share of total non-residential construction investment have continued to increase to offset this decline,” said StatsCan.

“Based on type of work for non-residential construction in November, the year-over-year investment value declined more sharply in new construction (-3.4 per cent to $2.1 billion) than in renovations (-2.5 per cent to $1.7 billion). Meanwhile, other types of work edged down 0.6 per cent to $544 million.”

– Mario Toneguzzi

Calgary’s Business is a Troy Media Digital Solutions Associate news site.


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