Residential Leads Building Construction Investment

Total investment in building construction in January reached $16 billion for the first time on record, up 2.8 per cent from the previous month, says Statistics Canada. The continued strength in the residential sector drove the increase, as non-residential construction remained flat for the fourth consecutive month. Investment in residential construction rose 3.9 per cent to $11.6 billion in January, following a record high in December 2020. Gains were reported in every province except Manitoba. Ontario was the largest contributor, accounting for over one-third of the growth. A fourth consecutive monthly increase was reported in single-unit construction investment, up four per cent. With the exception of a large drop in April 2020 related to the COVID-19 pandemic, this component has increased eight times in the last nine months. Multi-unit construction investment increased 3.7 per cent on sustained growth in new construction and renovations in large condominium apartment projects. Multi-unit construction investment has been rising in Ontario from May 2020 to January 2021, with the majority of the investment reported in the census metropolitan area of Toronto. Non-residential construction investment held steady for the fourth consecutive month at $4.4 billion in January. Institutional construction investment rose 0.6 per cent, up in seven provinces, led by Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.