Toronto, ON — Construction activity in Canada continued to lose momentum in October but is still at buoyant levels. According to Altus Group’s National Construction Activity Update, total activity nudged ahead of seasonally adjusted norms thanks to industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) advances, despite continued cooling in residential investment.
Although all sectors continue to contribute to significantly higher construction activity than a year ago. “In terms of the residential sector, year-over-year advances have been driven more by renovation spending than new housing, but both are up sizably,” according to the report. “Going forward, expect new housing’s contribution to recede though, as evidenced by sharply lower building permits issued for both singles and multis in October relative to last year.”
As stated, the ICI sector helped increase the overall total amount of activity in construction. But the industrial sector was the main driving force behind the growth, with commercial construction just behind. This was largely due to growth in key areas, such as mining and agriculture-related construction within industrial, and retail within commercial construction.
On a year-over-year basis, every province recorded growth in residential and ICI construction save for Atlantic Canada, which was down four per cent in the ICI sectors. Saskatchewan saw the best year-over-year change compared to the other provinces, with a 28 per cent increase in residential construction and a 35 per cent increase in ICI. British Columbia was next with an overall increase of 27 per cent. Alberta saw an increase of 18 per cent year-over-year.
Surprisingly, Atlantic Canada still recorded the fourth best year-over-year percentage at 16 per cent, even though they saw a decrease in ICI construction.