Canadian Construction Shows First Quarter Growth

Both the commercial and residential markets in Canada saw growth in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, according to figures from CanaData/Reed Construction Data, Markham, Ontario. The institutional segment, however, dropped.

Canada's commercial market grew 14 percent in the January to March 2005 period, to 7.143 million square feet, compared to the same period in 2004. The value of the construction soared 30 percent to $877.6 million versus $673.9 million in the first quarter of last year.

Office buildings were the star of the segment's growth with a 31-percent increase, to 1.459 million square feet, and an increase in value of 88 percent, to $309.1 million. Stores dropped 5 percent during the quarter, to 1.927 million square feet versus 2.018 million square feet in the January to March 2004 period. The stores value was down 20 percent to $180.5 million.

The institutional segment saw negative figures all around for the three-month period. Overall the category was down 30 percent to 2.302 million square feet with a value of $648.5 million, a 21-percent drop.

Medical starts fell 40 percent to 933,000 square feet with a value of $273.4 million, down 47 percent. Education was down 44 percent to 766,000 square feet and a value of $195.9 million, a 12-percent dip.

The residential market increased 19 percent both in terms of space and value to 28.094 million square feet and $2.435.4 billion, respectively.

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