Investment in Canada’s building construction topped a record high in February for the second month in a row, amid continued strength in the residential sector.
According to data published by Statistics Canada on Friday, total investment in building construction rose by 4.2% to a record $16.8 billion in February, following a record $16.1 billion total in January. If compared on a year-over-year basis, most of the investment gains were the result of price increases for building materials, which have skyrocketed amid the pandemic.
The majority of the increase was concentrated in residential construction, as investments reached a new high of $12.3 billion in February. Single-family home construction led the way, rising by 9.4% to $6.7 billion— marking the fifth consecutive month of increases. The demand for single-family homes— especially in Canada’s census metropolitan areas, has been the primary driver behind the growth, as Canadians with remote work arrangements continue to migrate to more spacious suburban and rural areas.
Multi-unit construction for the month of February also increased, inching up by 1.6% to $5.7 billion. For the tenth consecutive month, investment in Ontario for this component increased, amid ongoing construction projects in the city of Toronto. Similarly, Saskatchewan recorded a surge of 69.4% in this sector, largely due to new apartment building projects in the city of Saskatoon.
Non-residential construction investment remained little-changed in February, rising by only 0.2% to a total of $4.5 billion. Institutional construction investment edged up by 0.6%, as six provinces posted some form of gains. Investment in industrial construction rose by 0.5% and reached a total of $810.7 billion, following two consecutive months of declines. For the fifth consecutive month, commercial building construction investment remained unchanged at $2.5 billion, as a significant gain in Ontario was unable to offset declines in seven other provinces.
Information for this briefing was found via Statistics Canada. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.