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Non-residential investment going strong – Investment in building construction, December 2022

February 23, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

February 23, 2022 – Investment in building construction across Canada decreased 1.3% to $20.2 billion in December 2022, reports Statistics Canada. The non-residential sector was up 0.8% to $5.6 billion, while the residential sector declined 2.1% to $14.6 billion.

Non-residential construction investment increased for seventh consecutive month. It was up 0.8% to $5.6 billion in December. Ontario (+2.7%) accounted for most of the growth, as it led the gains in each component (industrial, commercial, institutional).

Industrial construction investment increased for the 13th consecutive month, up 2.1% to $1.1 billion. Ontario and Quebec, as well as the overall industry, continued to post record highs.


Commercial construction investment remained relatively stable for the month, up 0.1% to $3.1 billion. The growth in Ontario (+1.7%) offset declines in seven other provinces.

Institutional construction investment increased 1.5% to $1.4 billion and has remained around this value since October 2021. Notably, New Brunswick posted its 7th consecutive increase in this component in December 2022, while Newfoundland & Labrador posted its 14th consecutive drop.

On the residential side, investment in the construction of single-family homes continued to decline for the fifth consecutive month, down 0.5% to $7.8 billion. Alberta (-3.6%) played the largest role in the decline.

Investment in multi-unit construction decreased 3.9% to $6.8 billion. Ontario posted its largest decline (-8.1%) since April 2020.

Fourth quarter of 2022 in review

The total value of investment in building construction declined 1.9% to $61.3 billion in the fourth quarter. The non-residential sector advanced 2.6% to $16.5 billion, while the residential sector was down 3.4% to $44.8 billion.

Investment in non-residential construction increased for the seventh consecutive quarter, up 2.6% to $16.5 billion.

Gains across all non-residential components were led by the commercial sector, which increased to a new record of $9.2 billion, surpassing its previous peak set in the fourth quarter of 2019. Commercial construction investment was up 13.1% compared with the fourth quarter of 2021.

Industrial construction investment rose 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2022, posting significant gains over the previous four quarters. Notably, Ontario and Quebec saw an increase in this component for the eighth consecutive quarter.

Institutional construction investment increased 1.2% after declining in the previous two quarters. Investment in the institutional component remained relatively unchanged compared with the fourth quarter of 2021.

Residential construction investment saw its largest decline since the third quarter of 2021 (-3.4%). Similarly, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported a 5.0% decline in residential construction starts in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with the previous quarter.

Investment in the construction of single-family homes fell 6.0% to $23.8 billion in the fourth quarter, while the multi-unit component decreased 0.3% to $20.9 billion.

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