On-Site Magazine

Building construction investment takes a hit in July

By Adam Freill   

Commercial Construction Industrial Institutional Residential

Small gains in all three non-residential segments were not enough to offset continued drop experienced in the residential sector.

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

Investment in building construction dropped 2.6 per cent in July, falling to $17.5 billion, but the losses were not across the board, reports Statistics Canada in its latest investment in building construction report. Although the residential sector decreased 4.1 per cent to land at $11.5 billion, the non-residential sector found itself up by a half-per-cent, to come in at $5.9 billion.

Institutional investment led growth in non-residential sector, rising by 1.2 per cent to hit $1.5 billion on the strength of a new hospital project in Dawson Creek, B.C.

After two consecutive monthly decreases, investment in the industrial component rebounded with a slight, 0.6 increase. That component reported in at $1.2 billion, while commercial investment edged up 0.3 per cent to $3.3 billion.

Overall, investment gains across the three non-residential segments were paced by increases in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Six provinces posted contractions.


Following on the track it has been on for the past few months, residential investment posted a decline for the fifth straight month. Reductions were posted in eight provinces.

Nationally, single-family home construction investment fell 5.5 per cent to $5.8 billion, the lowest level since August of 2020. Ontario accounted for most of the drop. Multi-unit construction investment was also down, but slightly less, as the component fell 2.8 per cent to $5.7 billion in July. Of note is that this was the ninth consecutive monthly decrease for the segment.




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