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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

September 23, 2019

Total residential and non-residential construction

Investment in Nova Scotia building construction rose 12.5 per cent in July (seasonally adjusted) compared to June 2019.  Halifax monthly building construction was up 10.0 per cent in July.

Nationally, investment in building construction rose 0.5 per cent in July.  Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island reported the strongest monthly gains while Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador reported the largest monthly declines. 

In the first seven months of 2019, building construction investment was up 13.6 per cent in Nova Scotia.  Halifax construction activity was up 10.7 per cent.  National building construction investment was up 0.8 per cent with four provinces reporting growth over January-July 2018. The fastest growth was reported in Prince Edward Island (+29.5 per cent) followed by British Columbia (+14.5 per cent) and Nova Scotia.  The largest declines over this period were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador (-17.3 per cent) and Alberta (-14.6 per cent).

Total Nova Scotia building construction investment was $296 million in July.  In recent years, Halifax has accounted for a rising share of construction activity in the province, particularly for residential investment.  Halifax building construction totaled $169 million in July, while there was $127 million in building construction outside of Halifax.

Residential construction

In July 2019, residential construction investment (seasonally adjusted) in Nova Scotia rose 14.9 per cent to $244 million.  Halifax residential construction rose 10.8 per cent to $143 million. 

National residential construction was up 0.6 per cent month-to-month as five provinces reported higher residential construction investment in July.  The fastest gain was in Nova Scotia, while the largest decline was in Saskatchewan (-20.3 per cent).

Year-to-date, residential construction investment was up 17.9 per cent in Nova Scotia.  Halifax's residential construction was up 18.5 per cent compared to January-July 2018. 

National residential construction declined 1.1 per cent in the first seven months of 2019.  Four provinces reported growth for the period, with Prince Edward Island (+29.9 per cent) and Nova Scotia reporting the fastest growth. Newfoundland and Labrador reported the largest decline over the same period in 2018 (-37.0 per cent).

Investment in renovations and new construction for multiples account for most of the rise in residential construction activity (unadjusted) in the first seven months of 2019 in Nova Scotia. New construction is down for single dwelling units. Other residential construction activity (such as conversions) is up significantly in percentage terms, but has contributed less than other residential activities to the overall rise in residential building expenditures so far this year.

Non-residential construction

In July, non-residential building construction rose 2.5 per cent to $52 million in Nova Scotia (seasonally adjusted).  In Halifax, non-residential construction was up 5.3 per cent to $25 million.

National non-residential building construction rose 0.3 per cent in July.  Seven provinces reported monthly gains, with the fastest growth reported in Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan (+2.4 per cent).  New Brunswick (-3.7 per cent) and Prince Edward Island (-3.6 per cent) reported the largest monthly declines.

Year-to-date, Nova Scotia's non-residential construction is down 2.9 per cent compared to the first seven months of 2018.  Halifax's non-residential construction is down 18.6 per cent year-to-date. 

National non-residential construction investment rose 5.3 per cent in the first seven months of the year. The fastest growth was reported in Newfoundland and Labrador (+37.3 per cent), British Columbia (+31.6 per cent) and Prince Edward Island (+28.3 per cent).  The fastest declines were reported in Ontario (-6.4 per cent) followed by Nova Scotia.

In Nova Scotia, year-to-date non-residential building construction declines are concentrated in both commercial and institutional/government projects in Halifax.  Non-residential construction is up outside of Halifax on gains in industrial, commercial and institutional/government expenditures.

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

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