Statistics Canada (StatsCan) is reporting that investment in building construction declined -0.7% in September to $17.5 billion (CAD), continuing the downward spiral that started in May. A small increase in the non-residential sector helped to offset the decrease in the residential sector. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction decreased -1.5% to $12.0 billion.
Residential construction investment decreased -1.6% in September, with Quebec accounting for most of the decline. However, the investment in this component was 21.6% higher than the pre-pandemic value in February 2020. Single family home investment edged lower — down -0.6% to $7.0 billion — with declines reported in eight provinces. Multi-unit construction investment decreased in seven provinces, down -2.9% nationally to $5.8 billion.
The difference in value between multi-unit and single-unit investment had been narrowing for the past few years, but a noticeable gap has opened up since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, non-residential construction investment rose 1.8% to $4.8 billion. Despite eight increases since the beginning of the year, non-residential investment remains -6.3% below pre-pandemic values.
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Investment in building construction, September 2021