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

January 18, 2024

Monthly (November 2023 vs October 2023, seasonally adjusted)

Investment in Nova Scotia building construction increased 9.1% in November 2023 to $528.8 million. Halifax monthly building construction increased 8.6% to $278.1 million and outside of Halifax building construction was up 9.5% to $250.7 million. Nationally, investment in building construction increased 1.7% with gains in 5 of 10 provinces. The largest increase was in Nova Scotia. Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Newfoundland and Labrador reported the largest declines.

Nova Scotia's November 2023 residential construction investment increased 10.4% to $440.4 million. Halifax residential construction was up 10.8% to $220.1 million. Outside of Halifax residential construction was up 9.9% to $220.3 million. National residential construction was up 2.2% with increases in 5 of 10 provinces. Nova Scotia had the largest increase while Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Newfoundland and Labrador had the largest declines.

Nova Scotia's non-residential building construction increased 3.1% to $88.5 million. In Halifax, non-residential construction was up 1.1% to $58.0 million. Outside of Halifax, non-residential construction was up 7.1% to $30.4 million. National non-residential building construction increased 0.4% in November 2023 with gains in seven provinces, led by Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. Decreases were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta while  British Columbia was unchanged.  

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

Compared to January-November 2022, building construction investment was up 3.8% in Nova Scotia. Halifax construction activity was down 5.9% and outside of Halifax construction activity was up 15.3%. National building construction investment was down 7.0% with declines in seven provinces, led by Newfoundland and Labrador. New Brunswick reported the largest gain in year-to-date building construction.

Residential construction investment was up 2.0% in Nova Scotia compared to January-November 2022. Halifax's year-to-date residential construction was down 11.8% and outside of Halifax residential construction was up 17.7% year-to-date. National residential construction was down 12.5% with declines in all provinces except Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The largest decrease was in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Nova Scotia's non-residential construction was up 14.6% compared to January-November 2022. Halifax's non-residential construction rose 25.6% while outside of Halifax, non-residential construction was down 1.2%. National non-residential construction investment increased 8.2% compared to January-November 2022. Seven provinces reported increases, with the largest increase in New Brunswick. The only declines were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. 

Nova Scotia's total building construction investment increased from $5.05 billion in January-November 2022 to $5.24 billion in January-November 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 as well as multiple dwelling unit structures was up.

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. More recently, industrial and government/institutional construction have also started to rise in Halifax. 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.


Note: Statistics Canada has replaced this table 34-10-0175 by table 34-10-0286. The information from January 2017 onwards that was in table 34-10-0175 is still available in the new table, except for the constant dollar series which have been rebased to 2017 = 100.

Statistics Canada.   Table 34-10-0286-01 Investment in building construction

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