Construction values slipped lower in September
November 16, 2021
Building construction investments continued a slowing month-over-month trend in September 2021, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.
Statistics Canada revealed that total investment declined 0.7 per cent from August to $17.5 billion in September.
More specifically, residential construction investment decreased 1.6 per cent in September with Quebec accounting for most of the decline. However, the data revealed that investment in this area was 21.6 per cent higher than the last pre-pandemic monthly value from February 2020.
Investment in new single-family houses edged down 0.6 per cent to $7 billion with declines reported in eight provinces. Nova Scotia, however, showed strength in this sector because it was up 13.3 per cent for its fourth increase in five months.
Meanwhile, multi-unit construction investment decreased in seven provinces—down 2.9 per cent nationally to $5.8 billion. While the difference in value between multi-unit and single-unit residential investment had been narrowing for the past few years, a noticeable gap has opened up since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conversely, Statistics Canada figures showed that commercial investment grew by 1.8 per cent to $2.6 billion in September, compared to August, with Ontario and Quebec leading the way. Office building construction projects in Toronto and Ottawa led to gains in Ontario, following three consecutive monthly declines.
Overall, non-residential construction investment rose 1.8 per cent to $4.8 billion. Despite eight increases since the beginning of 2021, non-residential investment was 6.3 per cent lower than pre-pandemic values.