What's happening with residential construction in Canada?

Momentum from construction intentions remains strong, Statistics Canada reports

What's happening with residential construction in Canada?

Investment in residential construction increased for the fourth straight month to reach $14.1 billion in January, according to Statistics Canada.

The 4.1% quarterly gain stemmed from elevated levels of construction intentions during the fourth quarter of 2021, StatCan said.

The single-family segment saw a 2.5% increase in investment to reach $7.6 billion. Accelerated activity in Quebec and British Columbia accounted for much of the national gain, StatCan reported.

Multi-unit construction investment had a stronger proportional increase at 6% to end up at $6.5 billion. Of Canada’s provincial markets, Saskatchewan was the only one to post a decrease due to a combination of maturing projects and a lower level of new permits, StatCan said.

Read more: StatCan: Outstanding mortgage volume continues rising

Meanwhile, commercial investment saw its seventh consecutive monthly increase, with a 1.8% gain pushing the total to $2.8 billion in January. This was impelled by Ontario (up 2.2%) and British Columbia (up 5%).

“The commercial component showed sustained growth over the past few months, particularly for office buildings and warehouses,” StatCan said. “Investment in the institutional component advanced 0.6% to $1.4 billion in January. Quebec (+3.1%) posted the largest gain, helping to offset declines reported in seven provinces.”

Overall non-residential construction investment grew by 1.5% to reach $5 billion in January. Total investment in building construction across all asset classes increased by 3.4% to $19.1 billion, having posted steady increases since October 2021.