Canadian New Housing Construction Investment Up 7.4% in October - Modern Distribution Management

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Canadian New Housing Construction Investment Up 7.4% in October

Spending on apartment buildings led the increase.

Canadian investment in new housing construction totaled C$5.4 billion (US$4.2 billion) in October, up 7.4 percent compared with October 2016, according to Statistics Canada.

Nationally, year-over-year increases were posted for all dwelling types, led by spending on apartment buildings (+8.7 percent to C$2 billion, US$1.6 billion) followed by spending on row house construction (+22.9 percent to C$592.8 million, US$459.6 million). Despite a smaller year-over-year increase, investment in single-family homes accounted for nearly half (47.8 percent or C$2.6 billion, US$2 billion) of total spending on new housing construction.

The increased spending on apartment building construction in October was mainly attributable to higher investment in Quebec (+C$127 million, US$98.5 million), which accounted for the vast majority of the total national increase in spending for this dwelling type. In contrast, Alberta (-C$10 million, US$ million) and Ontario (-C$7.6 million, US$5.9 million) posted the largest declines in apartment building construction.

In October, investment in new row housing construction continued to rise in most provinces, with Ontario posting the largest year-over-year increase (+C$82 million, US$63.6 million).

Spending on single-family homes rose in five provinces in October, up 2.5 percent to C$2.6 billion (US$2 billion). The increase was driven mainly by Alberta, where spending on single-family homes rose by C$110.7 million (US$85.8 million). Over the same period, Quebec (-C$42.2 million, US$32.7 million) and Ontario (-C$12.4 million, US$9.6 million) reported lower spending on single-family home construction.

Over the last decade, Ontario and British Columbia have displayed a shift in the distribution of investment for each building type, with the most noticeable changes in single-family homes and apartments.

Looking back at October 2007 in Ontario, spending on single-family home construction accounted for 65.8 percent of total investment, compared with 50.6 percent for the same period in 2017. Conversely, spending on apartment building construction increased from 17.3 percent to 29.6 percent of the total investment on new building construction.

A similar pattern was observed in British Columbia, where single-family homes accounted for 45.3 percent of the total spending on new building construction in October 2007, compared with 39.7 percent in October 2017. In contrast, spending on apartment building construction rose from 41.9 percent of total investment to 49.4 percent over the same period.

The shift from investment in single-family homes to apartment building construction in some areas may be influenced by a number of factors, such as an aging population, housing affordability and availability, as well as by initiatives and policies at various levels of government, which focus on reducing urban sprawl and managing growth.


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