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Sept 14, 2022

Building Construction Investment Continues Climb

Investment in building construction continued its upward trend since October 2021, rising 0.8 per cent to $21 billion in July, says Statistics Canada. Both the residential (one per cent to $15.7 billion) and the non-residential sectors (0.1 per cent to $5.3 billion) showed increases. Commercial investment was up 0.6 per cent to $3 billion for the month, cooling down after posting strong gains in June. Notable growth for the component mainly came from British Columbia (+3.5 per cent), stemming from multiple projects across Vancouver. At the subcomponent level, new construction for trade and services and warehouses contributed the most to the growth. In July, construction in trade and services surpassed pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, with substantial growth over the previous 12 months. Warehouses have also seen considerable growth, with an increase of 42 per cent on an unadjusted basis since March 2021 coinciding with a strong growth in eCommerce and the need for large eCommerce companies to store goods locally for rapid delivery. Conversely, investment in new office buildings, after a temporary bounce back in June 2020, has been on a downward trend ever since as the work-from-home model became more prevalent and the number of unoccupied offices across Canada continued to increase.

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