The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

New Housing Investment Up Nearly 10% in Canada

Higher construction investment in apartment buildings drives increase.

New housing construction investment in Canada totalled $4.6 billion in March, up 9.7 percent from March 2017. The increase was due mainly to higher construction investment in apartment buildings, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

The increase in apartment building construction investment accounted for 81.7 percent of the total growth in new housing construction investment in Canada. In comparison, single-home construction accounted for 77 percent of the total increase in investment in March 2017.

Investment in new housing construction grew year-over-year in March for every building type except single-family houses, which fell by $23.5 million. The drop was mostly explained by lower spending on single-family house construction in Ontario.

Quebec continued to post the largest increase for apartment building construction for a total investment of $475.7 million, which represented two-thirds of the total investment in new housing construction in the province.

In contrast, investment in Alberta was led by an increase in single house construction of $40 million, which accounted for more than three-quarters of the total increase in new housing construction investment in the province. At the same time, investment in apartment building construction in Alberta was down by $10.6 million compared with March 2017.

In Saskatchewan, a $12.6 million decrease was primarily due to lower investment in single-family house construction.

British Columbia and Prince Edward Island were the only two provinces to post increases for all building types.

Prices charged by contractors for new residential building construction increased 7.3 percent in the first quarter compared with the same quarter in 2017.  Prices grew the most in Winnipeg (+14.7 percent), followed by Vancouver (+9.6 percent) and Toronto (+8.3 percent).


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