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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

October 21, 2019
BUILDING CONSTRUCTION, AUGUST 2019

Total residential and non-residential construction

Investment in Nova Scotia building construction rose 9.1 per cent in August (seasonally adjusted) compared to July 2019.  Halifax monthly building construction was up 13.2 per cent in July.

Nationally, investment in building construction rose 1.4 per cent in August.  Nova Scotia and Manitoba reported the strongest monthly gains while British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador reported the largest monthly declines. 

In the first eight months of 2019, building construction investment was up 15.8 per cent in Nova Scotia.  Halifax construction activity was up 13.0 per cent.  National building construction investment was up 1.3 per cent with four provinces reporting growth over January-August 2018. The fastest growth was reported in Prince Edward Island (+36.1 per cent) followed by Nova Scotia and British Columbia (+13.2 per cent).  The largest declines over this period were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador (-16.8 per cent) and Alberta (-14.0 per cent).

Total Nova Scotia building construction investment was $328.6 million in August.  In recent years, Halifax has accounted for a rising share of construction activity in the province, particularly for residential investment.  Halifax building construction totaled $197.8 million in August, while there was $130.8 million in building construction outside of Halifax.

Residential construction

In August 2019, residential construction investment (seasonally adjusted change from July) in Nova Scotia rose 10.0 per cent to $273.6 million.  Halifax residential construction rose 15.8 per cent to $170.7 million. 

National residential construction was up 1.8 per cent month-to-month as six provinces reported higher residential construction investment in August.  The fastest gain was in Manitoba, while the largest decline was in British Columbia (-5.0 per cent).

Year-to-date, residential construction investment was up 20.3 per cent in Nova Scotia.  Halifax's residential construction was up 20.8 per cent compared to January-August 2018. 

National residential construction declined 0.5 per cent in the first eight months of 2019.  Four provinces reported growth for the period, with Prince Edward Island (+38.5 per cent) and Nova Scotia reporting the fastest growth. Newfoundland and Labrador reported the largest decline over the same period in 2018 (-35.9 per cent).

Investment in renovations and new construction for multiples account for most of the rise in residential construction activity (unadjusted) in the first eight months of 2019 in Nova Scotia. New construction is down slightly 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 August, non-residential building construction rose 4.7 per cent to $55.0 million in Nova Scotia (seasonally adjusted vs July).  In Halifax, non-residential construction was up 5.4 per cent to $27.2 million.

National non-residential building construction rose 0.5 per cent in August.  Six provinces reported monthly gains, with the fastest growth reported in Nova Scotia and Manitoba (+2.2 per cent).  Newfoundland and Labrador (-5.4 per cent) and New Brunswick (-1.6 per cent) reported the largest monthly declines.

Year-to-date, Nova Scotia's non-residential construction is down 1.5 per cent compared to the first eight months of 2018.  Halifax's non-residential construction is down 16.9 per cent year-to-date. 

National non-residential construction investment rose 5.4 per cent in the first eight months of the year. The fastest growth was reported in British Columbia (+32.7 per cent) and Newfoundland and Labrador (+32.5 per cent) and Prince Edward Island (+27.9 per cent).  The fastest declines were reported in Ontario (-6.0 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 commercial and institutional/government expenditures.

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



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