Investment in new housing construction increased 3.1 per cent in Alberta from May 2017 to $716.6 million in May of this year, according to data released Thursday by Statistics Canada.
The federal agency also said that on a national level investment was up 6.3 per cent year over year to $4.8 billion.
“The year-over-year increase was led by spending on multiple-unit construction (apartment buildings, row houses and semi-detached houses), while spending on single-family homes was down,” said StatsCan.
It said apartment building construction rose in eight provinces, led by Quebec (+$225.2 million), Ontario (+$114.5 million) and British Columbia (+$93.2 million), accounting for 39.7 per cent of total investment in new housing construction and the largest share on record since the start of this data series in 1992. Total investment reached $1.9 billion in May.
Spending on row house construction was up 11.7 per cent (+$56.4 million) to $537.1 million compared with May 2017, mainly driven by investment in Ontario (+$16.0 million), Alberta (+$15.3 million) and British Columbia (+$14.4 million), added StatsCan.
Investment in semi-detached houses increased by 8.8 per cent (+$19.7 million) in May compared with the same month in 2017 to $242.5 million. Quebec (+$8.7 million) and British Columbia (+$6.5 million) saw the largest provincial gains for this component, explained the federal agency.
But it said spending on single homes was down 9.9 per cent (-$232.3 million) year over year to $2.1 billion.
“Overall, nine provinces reported lower spending, with Ontario (-$96.9 million) and Quebec (-$59.7 million) posting the largest declines. Quebec (up 27.0 per cent or $177.8 million) and British Columbia (up 9.4 per cent or $94.2 million) posted the strongest year-over-year growth in spending on new housing construction in May. In both provinces, the increases were mainly due to spending on apartment building construction,” said Statistics Canada.
Broken down by region, here are the investment totals: Newfoundland and Labrador, $20.3 million; Prince Edward Island, $15.1 million; Nova Scotia, $61.3 million; New Brunswick, $22 million; Quebec, $836.9 million; Ontario, $1.8 billion; Manitoba, $131.6 million; Saskatchewan, $70.6 million; British Columbia, $1.1 billion; Yukon, $5.7 million; Northwest Territories, $1.1 million; and Nunavut, $1.4 million.
Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.
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