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

May 17, 2024

Monthly (March 2024 vs February 2024, seasonally adjusted)

Investment in Nova Scotia building construction increased 10.5% in March 2024 to $574.9 million. Halifax monthly building construction rose 21.3% to $320.7 million and outside of Halifax building construction was down 0.7% to $254.3 million. Nationally, investment in building construction increased 4.5% with gains in 7 of 10 provinces. The largest increase was in Prince Edward Island. Alberta reported the largest decline.

Nova Scotia's March 2024 residential construction investment grew 12.0% to $481.7 million. Halifax residential construction was up 27.1% to $267.4 million. Outside of Halifax residential construction was down 2.4% to $214.3 million. National residential construction was up 5.4% with increases in 7 of 10 provinces. Prince Edward Island had the largest increase while Saskatchewan had the largest decline.

Nova Scotia's non-residential building construction increased 3.0% to $93.3 million. In Halifax, non-residential construction was down 1.3% to $53.5 million. Outside of Halifax, non-residential construction was up 9.5% to $39.9 million. National non-residential building construction rose 2.3% in March 2024 with gains in 8 provinces, led by Saskatchewan. Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta were the only provinces to report declining non-residential building construction.  

Year-to-date (January-March 2024 vs January-March 2023)

Compared to January-March 2023, building construction investment was up 23.3% in Nova Scotia. Halifax construction activity was up 35.3% and outside of Halifax construction activity was up 12.8%. National building construction investment was up 1.6%, with gains in 7 provinces, led by Prince Edward Island. Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and British Columbia reported declines.

Residential construction investment was up 21.0% in Nova Scotia compared to January-March 2023. Halifax's residential construction was up 37.7% and outside of Halifax residential construction was up 8.2%. National residential construction edged up 0.6% with gains in 7 provinces, led by Prince Edward Island. Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and British Columbia reported declines.   

Nova Scotia's non-residential construction was up 35.8% compared to January-March 2023. Halifax's non-residential construction rose 26.4% while outside of Halifax, non-residential construction was up 52.3%. National non-residential construction investment increased 3.8% compared to January-March 2023. Seven provinces reported increases, with the largest increase in Nova Scotia. The only declines were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. 

Nova Scotia's total building construction investment increased from $1.30 billion in January-March 2023 to $1.60 billion in January-March 2024. Residential investment as well as non-residential investment were up across the province. 

Across the province construction investment was up for both single dwelling units as well as multiple dwelling unit structures.

Non-residential building construction investment was up in all categories of non-residential construction: commercial, industrial, and institutional/government.


Building construction has trended up over recent years, particularly from rising residential investment. Residential investment (and therefore total investment) exhibits peaks and troughs around a rising trend. Non-residential investment has been on a more gradual increasing trend, primarily from investments in Halifax.

In Halifax, residential construction investment was trending up for both single and multi-unit dwellings until mid 2022 when both started to decline.  However, in recent months, single unit construction has shown limited growth while multiple unit construction has been rising. Outside the city, growth in single dwelling unit construction is stronger than in multi-unit structures. 

Non-residential building construction has lower values than residential construction. Halifax commercial building construction had been on increasing trend since the end of 2021 and reached at its peak in recent months. Industrial and government/institutional construction have been increasing in Halifax. In recent months, there has been growth in commercial, industrial, and government/institutional building construction outside the city.

Statistics Canada.   Table 34-10-0286-01 Investment in building construction

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