Residential construction investment, fourth quarter 2015

Ottawa - Residential construction investment totalled $29.7 billion in the fourth quarter, up 2.4% compared with the same quarter in 2014.

Investment in apartment and apartment-condominium building construction, up 25.1% to $4.8 billion, accounted for most of the increase at the national level. Acquisition costs related to new dwelling units built (up 3.3% to $3.4 billion) and spending on row house construction (up 1.9% to $1.2 billion) also contributed to the quarterly gain.

Total investment in residential construction rose in two provinces in the fourth quarter, led by Ontario, followed by British Columbia.

In Ontario, investment grew 14.6% to $12.6 billion in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter a year earlier. Higher spending on renovation work, single-family dwelling construction as well as apartment and apartment-condominium building construction were responsible for much of the advance.

In British Columbia, investment in residential construction rose 5.5% from the fourth quarter in 2014 to $4.7 billion in the fourth quarter. The gain came mainly from higher investment in apartment and apartment-condominium buildings, single-family dwellings and row houses.

The largest declines were registered in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

In Alberta, spending on residential construction fell 9.9% to $4.4 billion in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter in 2014. Lower spending in every component contributed to the decline, except apartment and apartment-condominium buildings, where construction spending increased 29.6% to $735 million.

In Saskatchewan, residential investment totalled $853 million in the fourth quarter, down 26.4% from the fourth quarter in 2014. Decreased residential investment in all three components (new housing construction, renovations and acquisition costs) explained the quarterly decline.

In Manitoba, residential construction investment amounted to $774 million in the fourth quarter, down 15.8% from the same quarter in 2014. The decline occurred mainly as a result of lower spending on renovation work and single-family dwelling construction.

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