The total value of investment in residential construction rose 8.8% to $25.0 billion in the first quarter compared with the same quarter in 2014. While investment in new housing construction (+4.2% to $10.6 billion) also increased, acquisition costs for new dwelling units built (+38.0% to $3.0 billion) and renovation spending (+7.4% to $11.2 billion) accounted for much of the gain at the national level.
Total investment in residential construction increased in eight provinces in the first quarter, with Ontario posting the largest advance, followed by British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec.
Total investment in Ontario rose 14.0% to $9.6 billion in the first quarter compared with the first quarter of 2014. This was largely the result of increased acquisition costs related to new dwelling units completed and, to a lesser degree, higher spending in renovation work and higher investment in the construction of single-family houses as well as converted dwellings.
In British Columbia, investment increased 6.6% to $4.1 billion. The advance came mainly from higher investment in renovations of existing residential buildings and single-family house construction.
In Alberta, total spending in residential construction amounted to $4.4 billion in the first quarter, up 4.4% from the same quarter a year earlier. The increase was mostly attributable to higher investment in new residential buildings, mainly from apartments and apartment-condominium buildings as well as single-family dwellings.
Total investment in Saskatchewan was $919 million, up 21.6% from the first quarter in 2014. The increase was the result of higher renovation spending, which offset a decline in new housing construction investment.
In Quebec, total spending in residential construction increased 3.2% to $4.1 billion. The increase was the result of higher renovation spending, which offset the drop in single-family dwelling investment.
Declines were registered in Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, investment totalled $260 million in the first quarter, down 9.5% from the same quarter in 2014. The decrease stemmed from a 23.6% decline in new residential construction investment to $119 million, which more than offset the increase in renovation spending.
In New Brunswick, residential construction investment declined 1.8% to $228 million in the first quarter. Lower spending in every component contributed to the decline, except renovation as well as residential dwelling conversion.