Canada market intelligence: turbulent times 


Kristoffer Hudson

NAM Lead Economist

Our winter 2023-24 market intelligence report for Canada provides market and provincial analyses, sector insights and the latest cost guide index for construction in major markets.

Overview: finding the positives within a turbulent market 

As 2024 begins, Canada’s economic outlook continues to transition downwards. Notably, elevated interest rates have resulted in lower consumer spending and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has fallen as a result.   

Given the economic outlook, the construction sector has equally felt the repercussions of high interest rates, particularly in the residential market, which has resulted in lower capital expenditure and a slowdown in project starts.   

However, not all areas are affected equally. Infrastructure investment is growing, and industrial and manufacturing workloads are resilient, while many provinces, such as Alberta, continue to weather economic headwinds. 

Real estate in British Columbia continues to face headwinds  

From a demand side, activity levels in British Columbia are weakening. While the total value of work being delivered remains high, building permits have reduced by 5.9 percent on the year, as of Q3 2023. 

Alberta’s construction sector continues to be resilient   

The oil and gas sector is still acting as a magnet for capital investment and increased construction works, as the associated supply chain continues to boost the sector. However, volatility in the crude oil market amidst geopolitical tension may mellow capital investment. 

Industrial and infrastructure growth support wider Ontario market  

While the Ontarian economy has been encouragingly resilient of late, its construction market has faced the consequences of heightened interest rates and elevated inflation. Residential construction volumes are mostly affected and investment in construction and building permits for the sector fell by 18.6 and 6.6 percent on the year, as of Q3 2023. 

Constrained residential activity continues in Quebec  

The industrial sector has seen investment in construction grow on the year in Q3 2023. High interest rates and construction costs weigh heavily on the residential sector. Recent reductions in investment in residential construction are also visible, which dropped by 8.4 percent on the year in Q3 2023 after unsustainably rapid growth in 2022. 

For further information contact:


Kristoffer Hudson
NAM Lead Economist

t: (416) 994 5182