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Canadian investment in new housing construction increased 6.4 percent to C$4 billion (US$3 billion) in February compared with the same month in 2016, according to Statistics Canada.
This increase is largely explained by higher investment in Ontario and, to a lesser extent, in British Columbia and Manitoba. Spending on single-family dwellings led the advance at the national level.
Nationally, construction spending was up year over year for all dwelling types for a fifth consecutive month. The increase of investment in single-family dwellings – C$187.8 million (US$139 million) – was the largest contributor, representing 76.8 percent of the national increase in February.
Increases in apartment building investment continued to be led by spending in British Columbia. The largest decreases for this type of dwelling were reported in Alberta and Quebec.
Year over year, investment in row housing construction continued to rise in most of the provinces in February, with only two provinces posting declines: Alberta (-C$28 million (-US$20.7 million)) and Nova Scotia (-C$0.2 million (-US$0.1 million)).
As for double houses construction investments, three provinces registered a decline, especially Manitoba where it fell C$2.5 million (US$1.9 million) from February 2016 levels.
Ontario was the sole province to post increases for all dwelling types.
Spending was up in five provinces in February, compared with the same month one year earlier. The national increase was largely the result of higher investment in Ontario and, to a lesser extent, in British Columbia and Manitoba. The largest decline was posted in Alberta.
In Ontario, investment in new housing construction reached C$1.7 billion (US$1.3 billion) in February, up 16.5 percent year over year. The increase was largely attributable to higher spending on single-family dwellings, although all dwelling types posted gains.
In British Columbia, spending totaled C$863.2 million (US$638.8 million), up 10.9 percent year over year. The increase originated from higher construction investment in apartment buildings – C$84.5 million (US$62.5 million) – and, to a lesser extent, in row houses – C$7.1 million (US$5.3 million).
New housing construction investment in Manitoba was up 17 percent year over year and totaled C$96.4 million (US$71.3 million). The advance was driven by higher investment in single-family dwellings, although gains were posted for all dwelling types other than double dwellings.
Conversely, Alberta posted the largest year-over-year decline in investment in new housing construction. Spending was down 13.3 percent to C$605 million (US$447.7 million) in February as a result of lower investment in all dwelling types, with the exception of semi-detached dwellings. The decrease was led by lower investment in apartments – -C$69.9 million (-US$51.7 million) – and row houses – -C$28 million (-US$20.7 million).