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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

September 18, 2023

Monthly (July 2023 vs June 2023, seasonally adjusted)

Investment in Nova Scotia building construction decreased 1.3% in July 2023 to $471.5 million. Halifax monthly building construction decreased 4.1% to $217.9 million and outside of Halifax building construction was up 1.3% to $253.6 million. Nationally, investment in building construction decreased 2.6% with the largest decline in Newfoundland and Labrador and the largest gain in Prince Edward Island. Seven provinces reported declines in monthly building construction.

Nova Scotia's July 2023 residential construction investment decreased 2.4% to $391.7 million. Halifax residential construction was down 6.1% to $167.5 million. Outside of Halifax residential construction was up 0.5% to $224.2 million. National residential construction was down 4.1% with declines in eight provinces. Newfoundland and Labrador and Manitoba had the largest declines while Prince Edward Island had the largest gain.

Nova Scotia's non-residential building construction increased 4.9% to $79.7 million. In Halifax, non-residential construction was up 3.1% to $50.3 million. Outside of Halifax, non-residential construction was up 8.0% to $29.4 million. National non-residential building construction was up 0.5% in July 2023 with declines in six provinces. The largest increase was reported in Saskatchewan while the largest decline was reported in Prince Edward Island.

Year-to-date (January-July 2023 vs January-July 2022)

Compared to January-July 2022, building construction investment was down 0.2% in Nova Scotia. Halifax construction activity was down 13.0% and outside of Halifax construction activity was up 15.0%. National building construction investment was down 7.4% with declines in all provinces, led by Newfoundland and Labrador. Nova Scotia and British Columbia had the smallest declines. 

Residential construction investment was down 1.0% in Nova Scotia compared to January-July 2022. Halifax's year-to-date residential construction was down 18.3% and outside of Halifax, residential construction was up 19.1% year-to-date. National residential construction was down 13.6% with declines in all provinces. The largest decrease was in Newfoundland and Labrador. Nova Scotia reported the smallest decline.

Nova Scotia's non-residential construction was up 4.8% compared to January-July 2022. Halifax's non-residential construction rose 16.9% while outside of Halifax, non-residential construction was down 11.5%. National non-residential construction investment increased 9.7% compared to January-July 2022. Eight provinces reported increases, with the largest increase in New Brunswick. The only declines were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. 

Nova Scotia's total building construction investment decreased slightly from $3.32 billion in January-July 2022 to $3.31 billion. This was mostly attributable to a decreases in residential investment in Halifax and non-residential investment in outside of Halifax. Halifax residential decline was more notable in multiple dwellings than single dwellings. The small non-residential increase occurred with higher commercial investment and institutional/governmental buildings offsetting lower investment in industrial buildings across the province.


Building construction increased over recent years with rising residential investment in Halifax and outside Halifax. Residential building construction peaked in 2022 then declined for several months. In recent results, residential building construction activity has picked up again, particularly outside Halifax. Non-residential building construction has been maintaining a slightly elevated level in Halifax in the most recent periods.

In Halifax, residential construction investment was trending up for both single and multi-unit dwellings until mid 2022 when both started to decline.  However, in recent months single dwelling construction in Halifax started to rise again. Outside the city, growth in single dwelling unit construction is stronger than in multi-unit structures.  The recent reversal of the downward trend in residential construction for the province is largely attributable to single-dwelling unit projects outside the city. 

Non-residential building construction has lower values than residential construction. Halifax commercial building construction has been on increasing trend since the end of 2021, however industrial construction which had been increasing has declined in recent months. Outside the city, non-residential construction trended down in 2022 for all three categories of non-residential building: commercial, industrial, and government/institutional.  In recent months, there has been some growth in commercial building construction outside the city.

Statistics Canada.  Table  34-10-0175-01   Investment in Building Construction

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