Investment in Building Construction Rose 4.2% in February

Investment In Building Construction - February 2021

Apr 9, 2021

Total investment in building construction increased 4.2% to $16.8 billion in February, posting a record high for the second consecutive month because of continued strength in the residential sector. 

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction was up 3.9% to $13.2 billion in February. Approximately half of the gain in construction investment on a year-over-year basis was attributable to price increases, as reported by the Building Construction Price Index. This likely reflects rising demand and tightening supply for building materials since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residential construction investment continues to soar

Consecutive record levels have been reported for investment in residential construction since September 2020, reaching a new high of $12.3 billion in February. 

The majority of this growth stemmed from single-family home construction, which rose for a fifth consecutive month, up 9.4% to $6.7 billion in February. Single-family homes being built in census metropolitan areas (CMAs) continued to drive the growth; however, record highs were set both in and outside CMAs. Investment outside CMAs increased 37.6% compared with February 2020, the largest year-over-year increase this component has reported since comparable data were available, back to 2011. The strength of single-family home investment in recent months may be partly attributable to an increased demand for more living space as Canada approaches the end of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Multi-unit construction investment also rose in February, up 1.6% to $5.7 billion. Investment in Ontario for this component increased for a 10th consecutive month, with ongoing construction projects such as the Time and Space condominium complex in the city of Toronto. Saskatchewan saw growth surge 69.4% in this sector, attributable partly to new projects such as apartment buildings in Saskatoon’s University Heights Suburban Centre.

Slight increase in non-residential construction investment 

Non-residential construction investment was little changed for a fifth consecutive month, edging up 0.2% to $4.5 billion in February. 

Institutional construction investment was up 0.6%, with six provinces posting increases. Quebec reported the largest gain, attributable partly to high-value renovation projects. British Columbia reached a record high, with projects such as the construction of Burnaby North Secondary School contributing to growth in this component. 

Investment in industrial construction increased 0.5% after two consecutive monthly declines, reaching $810.7 million in February. The continued construction of a national distribution centre for Canadian Tire in Brampton, Ontario, and a wastewater treatment plant in Montréal, Quebec, contributed to gains in this component. 

Commercial building construction investment remained at $2.5 billion for the fifth consecutive month. Declines in seven provinces offset a large gain in Ontario, attributable to the ongoing construction of multiple high-value projects in Toronto, Ottawa and Pickering.

Source: Statistics Canada, www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210409/dq210409b-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

Related Articles


Changing Scene

  • Sonepar Acquires PEPCO

    Sonepar Acquires PEPCO

    September 30, 2022 Sonepar announced that its U.S. subsidiary has entered into an agreement to acquire Professional Electric Products Co., Inc. (dba “PEPCO”). With a strong presence in the state of Ohio, this acquisition offers Sonepar the opportunity to expand in the 6th largest electrical distribution market in the U.S. A family-owned business headquartered in Eastlake, Ohio, since… Read More…

  • Sonepar to Acquire Basin-River Electrical Supply

    Sonepar to Acquire Basin-River Electrical Supply

    September 30, 2022 Sonepar announced Tuesday of this week that its U.S. subsidiary has entered into an agreement to acquire Basin-River Electrical Supply LLC. This acquisition allows Sonepar to grow its business in the Plaquemine, Louisiana, market. A family-owned business since 1981, Basin-River’s branch location will be integrated into Sonepar’s Crawford Electric brand at closing. … Read More…


Peers & Profiles

  • Schneider Electric, a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, is Canada’s top international corporate citizen in 2022. This designation was awarded to Schneider Electric by Corporate Knights, a media and research company committed to advancing a sustainable economy. Read More…

  • The Sonepar Ontario Region is proud to announce the relocation of their SESCO Central Distribution Centre (CDC) to its new location in Brampton, ON. This move has facilitated an amalgamation between Texcan’s large Brampton branch and SESCO’s CDC, as both businesses work together within one facility for the first time. Read More…