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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

December 28, 2018

Statistics Canada has released a new data series titled "Investment in Building Construction".  This monthly data replaces previous quarterly series on investment in residential construction and investment in non-residential building construction.  Most data are available on a seasonally adjusted basis (except where noted). 

Total residential and non-residential construction

Investment in Nova Scotia building construction increased 3.8 per cent in October (seasonally adjusted), compared with September.  Halifax monthly building construction was up 2.1 per cent.  Nationally, investment in building construction declined 3.2 per cent in October.  Saskatchewan reported the strongest monthly gain while Alberta reported the largest decline. 

Comparing the first ten months of 2018 with the same period of 2017, building construction investment fell by 1.2 per cent in Nova Scotia.  Halifax construction activity, however, was up 7.5 per cent.  National building construction investment was up 4.1 per cent over the period January to October with the fastest growth in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador.  The largest declines were reported in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Through the first ten months of 2018, the decline in residential construction activity is concentrated outside Halifax.  Rising non-residential investment is concentrated in the Halifax commercial sector. 

Total building construction investment reached $285 million in October.  In recent years, Halifax has accounted for a rising share of construction activity in the province.  After reporting about 51 per cent of total construction activity in 2016, Halifax's share of building construction activity has risen to 61 per cent of the year-to-date total.

Residential construction

Monthly residential construction was up 4.4 per cent for Nova Scotia, comparing seasonally adjusted results for October with September.  National residential construction declined 4.2 per cent over September.  Saskatchewan reported the fastest monthly growth while Alberta reported the largest monthly decline.  

Comparing the first ten months of 2018 with the same period in 2017, residential construction investment declined 2.7 per cent in Nova Scotia.  Halifax's residential construction was up 7.3 per cent.  National residential construction was up 1.5 per cent with the largest gains in British Columbia.  The largest declines were reported in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Investment in renovations tends to represent the largest share of residential construction investment in Nova Scotia. Year-to-date, renovation investment (unadjusted) is down 6.9 per cent in Nova Scotia due to declining renovations in singles across the province.

New housing construction investment (unadjusted) was up 1.2 per cent YTD, reflecting increased investment for all types of dwellings except singles outside of Halifax and apartments across the province.

Non-residential construction

Non-residential building construction increased by 1.1 per cent in Nova Scotia in October (seasonally adjusted).  National non-residential building construction declined 0.8 per cent compared to September.  Newfoundland and Labrador reported the largest monthly increase while Ontario reported the largest monthly decline.

Year-to-date, Nova Scotia's non-residential construction increased by 5.0 per cent compared with the same period in 2017.  Halifax's non-residential construction grew by 8.0 per cent.  National non-residential construction investment was up by 10.2 per cent, with the fastest gain in Newfoundland and Labrador and the only decline reported in Saskatchewan.

Statistics Canada.  Table  34-10-0175-01   Investment in Building Construction

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