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February 2024 Canada-Wide Construction Update Released

Unfinished two-story house under construction with Canada-Wide Construction scaffolding, surrounded by building materials on a sunny day.

On April 19th, Statistics Canada released data indicating a decrease in investment in building construction for the month of February. The total investment declined by 1.1% to $19.3 billion compared to the previous month, with drops in both residential and non-residential sectors.

When considering inflationary effects, accounting for it using a constant dollar basis (with the base year being 2017), the decline in investment becomes more pronounced with a decreased investment in building construction of 1.2%, dropping to $11.9 billion.

Residential Building Construction

In February 2024, residential building construction investment in Canada decreased by 1.2% to $13,385.1 million from January, for a second consecutive monthly decrease.

Among the provinces and territories, Newfoundland and Labrador experienced a notable 25.7% increase, reaching $77.9 million. Nova Scotia’s investment increased by 2.8% to $425.3 million, while New Brunswick saw a 2.6% increase to $249.1 million. Manitoba’s investment increased by 1.3% to $439.4 million, and Alberta’s investment rose by 0.8% to $1,922.1 million. British Columbia’s investment also increased by 0.4% to $2,257.1 million. 

On the other hand, Prince Edward Island saw a decline of 14.8% to $85.2 million, while Quebec’s investment decreased by 1.3% to $2,408.1 million, and Ontario experienced a 2.8% decrease to $5,219.9 million. Saskatchewan saw a significant 7.4% decline to $272.7 million, and Yukon experienced an 11.3% decrease to $16.0 million. However, Northwest Territories saw a substantial 25.3% increase to $4.2 million, and Nunavut experienced a notable 40.7% increase to $8.1 million.

On a national scale, investment in detached single-family homes rose by 1.3% to $6.7 billion in February, with all provinces and territories except Yukon reporting gains. However, multi-unit investment decreased by 3.5% to $6.7 billion, primarily due to declines in Ontario (-6.0% to $2.6 billion) and Quebec (-4.9% to $1.2 billion), attributed to a slowdown in new starts compared to earlier in 2023.

Two tower cranes against a cloudy sky at dusk, used for Canada-Wide Construction.

Non-Residential Investment Declines

Investment in the non-residential sector fell by 0.9% to $6.0 billion in February 2024. An increase of $29 million in the institutional market to $1.7 billion was counteracted by declines of $4 million in the industrial sector to $1.3 billion and of $77 million in the commercial sector to $3.0 billion.

Permits

Table showing Canada-wide, seasonally adjusted value of building permits by type, including total residential, single dwelling, multiple dwelling, total non-residential, and total, for months Oct 2023 to

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