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Investment in building construction – September 2021

November 10, 2021 | By Anthony Capkun

November 10, 2021 – Statscan has just released its analysis of investment in building construction for the month of September 2021, which shows investment declined 0.7% to $17.5 billion, continuing a downward trend that started in May.

A decrease in the residential sector was partially offset by a small increase in the non-residential sector.

Residential construction investment decreased 1.6% in September, with Quebec accounting for most of the decline. However, the investment in this component was 21.6% higher than the pre-pandemic value in February 2020.

Investment in single-family homes edged down 0.6% to $7.0 billion, with declines reported in eight provinces. Conversely, Nova Scotia continued to show strength in this sector (+13.3%), with its fourth increase in five months.


Multi-unit construction investment decreased in seven provinces, down 2.9% nationally to $5.8 billion. The difference in value between multi-unit and single-unit investment had been narrowing for the past few years, but a noticeable gap opened up since the onset of the pandemic.

Meantime, commercial investment grew by 1.8% to $2.6 billion in September, with Ontario and Quebec leading the way. Office building construction projects in Toronto and Ottawa led to gains in that province, following three consecutive monthly declines.

Investment in the institutional component rose 2.9% to $1.3 billion, with a 7.9% increase in Quebec. Strength in that province largely stemmed from educational building projects in the cities of Montreal and Laval.

Industrial construction investment edged up 0.1% to $824 million, with gains reported in five provinces. Saskatchewan showed the largest monthly percentage increase (+11.5%), reflecting investment in utility and agricultural buildings.

Overall, non-residential construction investment rose 1.8% to $4.8 billion. Despite eight increases since the beginning of the year, non-residential investment was 6.3% lower than pre-pandemic values.

— With files from Statistics Canada

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