On-Site Magazine

Building construction investment slides in May

By Adam Freill   

Commercial Construction Industrial Institutional Residential

Residential sector pushes monthly investment differential into the red dispite steady performance from non-residential sector.

Investment in non-residential building construction, May 2023. (Source: Statistics Canada, Table 34-10-0175-01–Investment in Building Construction)

Although non-residential investment in building construction held stable at $5.9 billion in May, overall investment was down 1.2 per cent, reports Statistics Canada. A drop of 1.7 per cent in the residential sector, to $14 billion, brought the combined number in at $19.9 billion for the month.

The flat performance in the non-residential sector broke a growth streak dating back to June of 2022. By segment, investment in industrial construction was down 0.4 per cent at $1.2 billion; commercial construction investment edged down 0.2 per cent to $3.2 billion; and the institutional component was up 0.6 per cent to $1.4 billion.

Ontario led the institutional gains, rising 2.9 per cent, while Quebec held the most influence on the industrial side as the province was down 3.2 per cent following 20 consecutive months of growth.

Residential investment continued to fall in May. Investment in residential building construction decreased 1.7 per cent month over month. The decline brought Alberta down to its lowest level since December 2020. This was also that province’s ninth consecutive monthly decrease.


At a national level, single family home investment fell almost three per cent, to $7.4 billion, as seven provinces posted declines. Multi-unit construction also took a hit, but only a small one, dropping 0.3 per cent to $6.7 billion. A five per cent decline in Quebec was cited as being behind much of the fall as the province continued its retraction from a peak reached in May of last year.




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