Residential investment holds back overall construction gains
By Adam FreillCommercial Construction Industrial Institutional Residential
Gains in building construction investment were muted in April as residential slip offsets non-residential gains.
Investment in Canadian building construction went up slightly in April, reaching $20.3 billion, as residential and non-residential sectors offset each other, reports Statistics Canada. For the month, the residential sector edged down 0.7 per cent to $14.4 billion, while the non-residential sector was up by 3.4 per cent, coming in at $5.9 billion. One bright spot in residential was the condo and apartment segment, which rose $20 million, or just shy of one per cent.
On the heels of a 32 per cent monthly increase in the value of building permits in March, non-residential construction investment was up across all components, contributing to the largest monthly sector increase since June 2020.
By segment, industrial construction investment rose 5.4 per cent to $1.2 billion, commercial was up 3.7 per cent to hit $3.2 billion, and institutional gained 1.2 per cent to come in at $1.4 billion.
The start of construction of a new manufacturing building in Bécancour, Que., helped lead the province to its 20th consecutive monthly increase in the industrial component. Ontario growth helped drive the other two segments to their gains.
Single-family construction brought the residential sector down for the month. Investment in single-family homes declined 2.1 per cent to $7.7 billion in April, the lowest level since November 2021. Gains in Nova Scotia were offset by notable declines in Ontario and Quebec. Densification of housing stock had the multi-unit construction component on a different trajectory, however. That component saw an increase of 0.8 per cent to hit $6.7 billion, a value that it has been hovering around since December of 2022.