Canada’s construction industry looks bright

The Canadian residential construction industry continues to be a major driver of the national economy according to the latest annual report from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.

The association’s 2016 Economic Impacts of Residential Construction study found that new construction, renovation and repair accounted for more than 1 million jobs last year, making the industry one of the country’s largest employers. In the same year, the so-called “investment value” of new home construction, renovation and repair – a value that accounts for all expenditures except land — exceeded $128 billion, based on Statistics Canada Building Permits data.

Residential construction is expected to take on more importance in the industry over the next five years, to account for 38.4 percent of the industry’s total value in 2020, according to the CIC report. The market will be supported by a rising population, urbanization and improving economic conditions. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the country’s population is expected to reach 37.6 million in 2020 and 40.4 million in 2030. Government efforts to provide affordable houses to the lower- and middle-class population through AHI also will encourage growth in the market.

In Ottawa, housing jobs last year amounted to more than 20,000, slightly more than half of them in renovation and repair. That ratio is close to that of the province as a whole, where there were 174,873 jobs in renovations and repairs last year compared to 156,758 in new construction.