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Poor month, but good Q2 – Investment in building construction June 2021

September 16, 2021 | By Anthony Capkun

September 16, 2021 – Investment in building construction decreased 4.5% to $18.4 billion in June 2021, reports Statscan. Both residential and non-residential construction investment were down following a period of sustained growth from November 2020 to April 2021.

Following a 3.0% decrease in May, residential construction investment fell 5.8% in June to $13.8 billion.

Investment in single-family homes remained well above pre-Covid-19 levels, says Statscan, despite falling 7.3% in June to $7.5 billion. Ontario and Quebec pulled single-unit investment down in June, after Ontario led national growth since May 2020.

Multi-unit construction investment was down 3.8% to $6.2 billion in June, with more than half of the provinces posting declines. Quebec reported the largest decrease mainly in the city of Montreal, followed by Ontario and British Columbia.


After posting slight increases for the last six months, non-residential construction investment edged down 0.4% to $4.6 billion in June, reflecting declines in commercial and industrial investment.

Commercial construction investment declined 1.0% to $2.5 billion. The largest drop stemmed from Ontario, down 2.2%, as projects such as storage facilities in the cities of Ajax and Brampton began to slow down after peaking earlier this year.

Industrial construction investment was down 1.2% to $825 million in June. Minimal growth in four provinces was not enough to counter the decline.

Institutional investment increased for the eighth consecutive month, up 1.3% to $1.2 billion. Ontario led the way, advancing 2.8% to $430 million, aided by projects such as a long-term care home in Mississauga.

Quebec, Alberta and New Brunswick also reported gains.

The Quarterly Report

Total investment in building construction increased 7.3% to $57.2 billion in the second quarter of 2021.

Residential construction surpassed $40 billion for the first time ($43.4 billion), with an increase of 9.3% compared with Q1 2021. The strength of the residential sector in Q2 continued to stem from single-unit investment, specifically in the larger provinces.

Non-residential investment posted a slight increase in Q2, up 1.5% to $13.8 billion, yet remained slightly below the same quarter in 2020.

Institutional investment reported a 4.8% increase, with the most growth coming from Ontario and Quebec.

Quebec posted its highest investment in this component since the series began in 2010, up 6.5% to $988 million and was boosted by construction of secondary schools, long-term care homes and hospitals.

Industrial construction investment was up 1.1%, despite declines in more than half of the provinces. Quebec and Ontario led the growth, with Quebec 35.7% higher than the second quarter of 2020.

Commercial investment inched forward 0.2% this quarter, remaining below pre-Covid-19 levels. Ongoing projects in Ontario and Alberta helped to offset declines in Quebec and Manitoba.

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