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

November 20, 2023

Monthly (September 2023 vs August 2023, seasonally adjusted)

Investment in Nova Scotia building construction increased 0.7% in September 2023 to $470.9 million. Halifax monthly building construction increased 3.6% to $239.3 million and outside of Halifax building construction was down 2.2% to $231.6 million. Nationally, investment in building construction increased 5.3% with gains in 9 of 10 provinces.  The largest increases were in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Prince Edward Island reported the only decline.

Nova Scotia's September 2023 residential construction investment edged up 0.2% to $387.0 million. Halifax residential construction was up 3.2% to $183.5 million. Outside of Halifax residential construction was down 2.3% to $203.5 million. National residential construction was up 7.3% with increases in 8 provinces. Manitoba had the largest increase while Prince Edward Island had the largest decline.

Nova Scotia's non-residential building construction increased 2.7% to $83.9 million.  In Halifax, non-residential construction was up 4.9% to $55.8 million. Outside of Halifax, non-residential construction was down 1.4% to $28.2 million. National non-residential building construction was up 1.2% in September 2023 with gains in six provinces, led by New Brunswick. The largest decreases were reported in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.  

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

Compared to January-September 2022, building construction investment was up 0.2% in Nova Scotia. Halifax construction activity was down 10.6% and outside of Halifax construction activity was up 12.9%. National building construction investment was down 7.8% with declines in all provinces, except New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  Newfoundland and Labrador reported the largest decline in year-to-date building construction.

Residential construction investment was down 1.4% in Nova Scotia compared to January-September 2022. Halifax's year-to-date residential construction was down 16.5% and outside of Halifax, residential construction was up 15.8% year-to-date. National residential construction was down 13.9% with declines in all provinces except New Brunswick. The largest decrease was in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Nova Scotia's non-residential construction was up 9.6% compared to January-September 2022. Halifax's non-residential construction rose 21.0% while outside of Halifax, non-residential construction was down 6.4%. National non-residential construction investment increased 8.9% compared to January-September 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 increased slightly from $4.22 billion in January-September 2022 to $4.23 billion in January-September 2023. Decreases in residential investment in Halifax and non-residential investment in outside of Halifax were offset by rising residential investment outside Halifax and non-residential investment inside Halifax. 

Halifax reported declining residential investment year-to-date in both single dwelling units and multiple dwelling unit structures.  Outside the city, construction investment in single dwelling units was up, more than offsetting the decline in multiple dwelling unit structures.

Non-residential building construction investment was up primarily because of increases in commercial structures (both inside and outside Halifax).  Industrial building construction investment was down for all areas of the province.  Investment in institutional and government structures was up in Halifax, offsetting the declines outside the city.  


Building construction has trended up over recent years, particularly from rising residential investment. Residential investment (and therefore total investment) exhibits peaks and troughs around a rising trend.  Non-residential investment has been on a more gradual increasing trend, primarily from investments in Halifax.

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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