Investment in Building Construction
Detailed information for December 2023
The investment in residential and non-residential building construction represents the spending value of building construction by households, enterprises and governments for buildings, excluding the value of land.
Data release - February 15, 2024
The investment data for residential and non-residential building construction gives a detailed statistical image of this activity across Canada, including the provinces and territories, and census metropolitan areas (CMA). Non-residential building construction excludes expenditure on engineering work (bridges, roads, hydroelectric power plants, etc.).
The statistics are used by a wide range of economists and analysts from the public and private sectors.
Reference period: Monthly
Collection period: During the month following the reference period
- Non-residential building construction
- Residential construction
Data sources and methodology
Investment in new residential buildings for the four principal dwelling types (singles, doubles, rows and apartments) as defined by the 2016 Census.
All investment in non-residential building are defined by type of asset, and grouped by commercial, industrial and institutional components.
This methodology does not apply as this program is modelled based on a census of administrative records and no questionnaire is directly used.
This methodology does not apply.
Data are collected from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.
Investment in Building Construction is based on data from the Building Permits Survey (record number 2802) and the starts and completions data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for the residential sector. Non-residential sector activity is modelled based on building permits issued by municipalities and confirmed where possible by Statistics Canada analysts.
For both residential and non-residential construction investment, administrative data are used to adjust the base value of construction investment to account for industry profit and other costs not normally included in the value of a building permit.
Most reporting and data entry errors are corrected through automated data validation procedures. Strict quality control procedures are applied to ensure that collection, coding and data processing are as accurate as possible. Validation steps are also performed by subject matter experts.
This methodology does not apply.
Investment in Building Construction is based primarily on the Building Permits Survey, which collects information on construction intentions.
The value of these building permits is adjusted to account for industry profit and other costs not normally included in the value of a permit.
All projects are assigned a delay and duration based on empirical data and construction work-flow coefficients. Project delay is the period of time between when a permit is received and work begins. Project duration is the length of time it normally takes to complete a particular type of project.
Work put in place patterns are assigned to each project within the residential (singles, doubles, rows, apartments) and non-residential (industrial, commercial and institutional) sectors. These patterns are used to distribute the value of construction investment over the project's duration.
The value of construction investment for a given month will be a function of the work done on units started in that month, in addition to the work done on all the other units from preceding months for which the construction would not yet be completed.
Prior to the data release, results are analyzed for comparability. This includes a detailed review of: new permits issued (particularly for the largest projects), general economic conditions, and information from other external sources.
Month to month, quarter to quarter and year to year trend analyses are conducted on the estimates nationally, by province and CMA and by type of structure in order to analyze large changes in the data. Such data movements are validated by examining the permit micro data, by consulting other data sources and by consulting internal stakeholders.
Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act.
Revisions and seasonal adjustment
Monthly preliminary estimates are provided for the reference month and revised estimates are applied for the previous month. The seasonally adjusted data also need to be revised, in part, to reflect revisions identified for the raw data. Thus, with the release of each month of new data, the seasonally adjusted values for the previous two months are also revised.
The seasonally adjusted time series are revised annually to take into account the most recent seasonal fluctuations at the same time as a revision to the previous year of the unadjusted data. In general, the seasonally adjusted estimates are revised back three years with the release of the February data.
No direct measures of the margin of error in the estimates can be calculated. The quality of the estimates can be inferred from analysis of revisions and from an assessment of the data sources and methodology used in the preparation of the estimates.
Investment system Redesign 2018
The Investment in Building Construction program (IBC) has transitioned to a new processing system in November 2018. This was to improve relevancy and accuracy of the data and to take into account the needs for updated changes to certain key concepts. Here is a summary of the changes made:
Deflation: The methodology of transforming current dollar values to constant dollar values (deflation process) has been updated from 2007=100 to 2012=100.
Seasonal adjustment: The methodology to seasonally adjust investment in building construction estimates has been revised and improved. For example, previously an "All CMA" seasonal factor was applied to individual CMAs, while now, seasonal factors for CMAs are estimated individually to ensure results that better reflect building construction activity in each CMA.
Investment value: Work put in place coefficients have been updated and are now based on a 10 year average from the US value of Construction Put in Place Survey. For populations of 50,000 and over, the estimates for the residential sector have been adjusted to align with the CHMC starts estimates.
Combining existing data tables: Tables 34-10-0010 (026-0013), 34-10-011 (026-0016) and 34-10-0012 (026-0017) are archived and related data merged into a new table 34-10-0175. The new table discloses more detailed level estimates for each CMA and province, as well as publishes seasonally adjusted and deflated data.