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Manitoba leads construction spending increase in the West

Manitoba’s 7-per-cent surge seen helped western provinces to a near-$30 billion investment in first half, with non-residential construction the strongest sector in the region
Total building investment across the West in the first half of 2023 was $29.9 billion |Chung Chow

Mid-year figures released by Statistics Canada on August 18 point to robust building investment in Manitoba during the first half of 2023.

Manitoba led the West, with 7 per cent growth in the first six months of 2023 versus a year earlier. Residential and non-residential construction investment totalled $2.6 billion.

Residential construction in Manitoba increased 6 per cent to $1.9 billion while non-residential construction increased 8 per cent to $709 million.

B.C. ranked second in terms of investment, reporting a 4 per cent increase to $15.5 billion in the first half of the year, driven entirely by a 17 per cent increase in non-residential investment to $4.1 billion. Residential investment was even with a year ago at $11.4 billion.

The gains in Manitoba and B.C. contrasted with a 7 per cent decline in construction investment in Alberta and a 17 per cent decline in Saskatchewan.

Total building investment across the West in the first half of 2023 was pegged at $29.9 billion.

Nationally, building investment fell 6 per cent in the period to $114.5 billion, but a worrisome trends is a slowdown in residential construction, despite calls for more housing supply.

Statistics Canada said June figures pointed to a deceleration in residential construction, which fell for the fourth straight month to $12.1 billion nationally in June. Residential slowdowns also drove declines within the second quarter of the year.

Recent data from Avison Young points to further slowdowns ahead in new home construction in B.C., as acquisitions of residential land declined 80 per cent in the first half of 2023 to $569.3 million.