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Steady growth projected for Canada’s construction industry

Canada's construction and engineering markets are looking reasonably strong, according to CanaData forecasts.


Canada’s construction and engineering markets are looking reasonably strong, according to CanaData forecasts.
The CanaData Forecaster September-October issue says there will by cyclical advances in office building and warehouse projects, and a comeback in hotel construction, which fell sharply after 9/11 and the SARS crisis. Retail construction continues to be strong. The newsletter forecast also sees possibilities in the power industry after the August 14 blackout, and says there may be new hydroelectric projects, and at least one natural gas pipeline from the Arctic that “is almost assured.”
Total new engineering investment shows a steady rise from a forecast of $46.6 million estimated for 2003, to $50.2 million for 2004, and $54.2 for 2005. Most active provinces in 2004 are projected as Ontario ($10.6 million) and Alberta ($17.4 million).
Non-residential building construction is expected to be 74 million s.f. in 2003, and reach 85 million s.f. in 2004 (2002 was 70.2 million s.f.). Commercial building starts for 2004 are forecast at 40 million s.f. compared to 35 million s.f. predicted for 2003, institutional buildings at 36.5 million s.f. compared to 34 million s.f. in 2003, and industrial buildings at 8.5 million s.f. compared to 5.0 million s.f. in 2003.
One interesting point that shows up in the charts is the high vacancy rate in offices in the suburbs of Ottawa, which at the third quarter stood at 14.5%, compared to only 3.6% in the centre. In Vancouver the suburban office vacancy rate is even higher at 18.4%, while the rate in the centre is 11.8%.
The CanaData Forecaster is published by Reed Construction Data of Markham, Ontario, www.reedconstructiondata.com