The market for Commercial Construction in Canada is estimated to be valued at more than USD XX billion and is estimated to shrink at a CAGR of around 1.5% during the forecast period.
GDP of Canada is on a decline ever since, the pandemic struck early 2020. The figure hovering around +2%, has shown a steep decline, and was reported at -5.8% in March 2020. The financial condition of common household has been rescued to certain extent by promoting deflation, with Consumer Price Index (base year, 2002) showing a value of -0.2%, in April 2020, as compared to +2.4% in January. This shows a positive sign, with effective economic control measures being taken by the government to retain household debt: Asset ratio and maintain Household net worth. The GDP in construction sector accounts for around 104.38 Billion USD in 2019 as against 104.85, 103.73, and 99.34 Billion USD reported in 2018, 2017 and 2016 respectively.
Average revenue of commercial construction businesses (reported on the basis of 9423 businesses surveyed by Canadian Government authorities in 2018), was computed to be 485.8 thousand USD with major expenditure on labour cost, which accounted for around 12% of the total revenue. This average figure is much higher as compared to overall construction sector’s average value which turns out to be 324 thousand USD. Total expenditure computed amounts to 90.6% of the revenue leaving net profit margin as 9.4%. Quality indicators indicated that 79% of the business were profitable with Net Profit Margin coming out to be positive and overall industry quality reported to be Very good. Further, interest coverage ratio was reported to be 6.7, indicating good liquidity, and financial health of the businesses in the commercial construction industry business. 23.47 USD/hour has been reported as the wages in construction sector which can be considered to be handsome, keeping the labour productivity of -2.3% in mind.
Value of Commercial Building Permits (including new constructions, foundations, Superstructures or parts of structure, installation of prefabricated units, improvements, additions and alterations) have shown a tremendous decline, with a value of 0.76 Billion USD reported in April, 2020, as against 1.55 Billion USD reported in Dec, 2019 for commercial office and retail. Institutional Commercial also showed a decline from 0.7 Billion USD in Dec, 2019 to 0.34 Billion USD in April, 2020. Even on accounting the seasonal adjustment, the decline was reported to be from 1.54 Billion USD to 0.90 Billion USD and 0.77 Billion USD to 0.39 Billion USD for Commercial office, retail and Commercial Institutional permit respectively.
LEED registered projects, let it be in case of office building (1906), retail (865), public assembly (509), office-mixed use (457), healthcare (306), public order and safety (246), higher education (210), elementary school (200), Laboratory (102), Lodging (33), or other commercial construction (533) have become prominent market trend. This is in lieu of the Sustainable development goals and green construction, with maximum efficiency in electrical or resource utilization. Big data, artificial intelligence and virtual reality are radically changing architectural, engineering and construction practices in the commercial building design and construction industry. Virtual reality in the form of virtual bots are being used to detect flaws in architectural design as compared to the practical engineering possible. Even so, these bots are being utilized to suggest solutions based on their intelligence. Virtual reality is being used to reflect the actual structure even before construction, to the smallest element used. It could be used in addition, for the training purposes in virtual reality with use of, ”net zero ready building”.
Key Market Trends
Investments in Commercial construction on a decrease
Statistics Canada has reported an increase in the overall household debt, due to the decrease in the financial credit available, amid pandemic. A net decline in household worth, amounting to 3.8%, has been reported, during the Q1, 2020, as an immediate consequence of 15.5% decline in the equity and investment funds. This shows the lack of liquidity in the households, leading to lesser investment and hence demand. Investments in non-residential building construction (NRBC), are facing a decline, with a decrease of around 4.3%, reported in March, 2020 (Compared to November 2020), taking investment value to 3.61 Billion USD. Prince Edward Island showed contrary trends, with Biovectra Manufacturing facility’s expansion leading to increase in BRBC investment by 1.4%, taking the figure to 13.9 Million USD. Commercial NRBC posted the largest decrease of 4.2%, taking the figure to 2.14 Billion USD. Quebec (-14.1%) and British Columbia (-4.6%) reported the majority of the declines in March, while Ontario was the only province to post an increase, edging up 0.3% to 0.81 billion USD. But taking the whole Q1 into consideration, non-residential investment increased quarter over quarter, up 1.2% to 11.07 billion USD. Ontario and Quebec had the strongest growth, while British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan reported the largest declines. Commercial office and retail investment increased 1.8% to 6.6 billion USD, while institutional and other commercial investment edged up 0.3% to 2.5 billion USD. Commercial office and retail building construction market share was 59.1%, totalling to an investment of 2.13 Billion USD, representing an year-over-year increase of 6.6% or 131.53 million USD. Commercial Institutional market share was 22.8%, total investment totalled 820.61 million USD, representing a year-over-year decrease of 0.8% or 6.42 million USD.
Commercial Space construction and absorption showing a mixed trend
Gross office Space area under construction increased from 9.76 Million square feet in 2016 to 11.17, 14.63, and 16.72 Million square feet in 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively. This clearly shows the increasing demand and entailing supply of office space in the country. This is against the trend of office space supply amounting to 9.07, 5.99, 4.28, and 1.49 Million square feet from 2016-2019. Clearly the increasing construction shows a change of trend in the office space construction market, and shows positive sign amid downsizing construction industry, Canada has a very firm position in terms of retail space per capita, with 16.8 square feet of retail space per capita in Canada, second only to United States (23.5), as compared to Australia (11.2), United Kingdom (4.6), Japan (4.4), Netherlands (4.1), France (3.8), Switzerland (3.6), Spain (3.4), China (2.8), Italy (2.8), Taiwan (2.4), Germany (2.3), South Korea (2,2), Russia (1.4), and Indonesia (1).
Healthcare facility construction worth Billions of USD is upcoming in the Canada with some of the major projects like Windsor Acute Care hospital facility (Ontario), New Edmonton hospital & health campus project (Alberta), Ottawa civic hospital - new construction (Ontario), Hospital Maisonneuve - Rosemont modernization (Quebec), Design/build Hospital Vaudreuil-Soulanges construction (Quebec), Royal Alexandra Hospital - Acute Care Tower renewal (Alberta), Burnaby General Hospital redevelopment (British Columbia), St. Paul's Hospital relocation project (British Columbia), Design build finance maintain - West Park Healthcare Centre (Ontario) and RFP - compliance mechanical engineering St Paul's Hospital redevelopment project (British Columbia).
Retail, Wholesale and Warehouse Commercial construction worth Billions of USD is under progress in the country. The Omni mixed use development (Calgary, Alberta, 222 Million USD), James Snow Parkway warehouse/distribution centre (Campbellsville, Ontario, 190 Million USD), U.C retail development (Oshawa, Ontario, 130 Million USD), Walmart distribution centre (Surrey, British Columbia, 130 Million USD), Design Build industrial warehouse building (Brampton, Ontario, 107 Million USD), Grand Market District, phase one (Kitchener, Ontario, 74 Million USD), Costco retail/warehouse and gas station (Rimouski, Quebec, 70 Million USD), Township commercial development, phase one (Calgary, Alberta, 63 Million USD), 5 depot facilities, new salt sand facilities, phase 2 and 3 (Sudbury, Ontario, 61 Million USD), Villmark Crossing - mixed use development and phase one (Markham, Ontario, 59 Million USD).
The Canada commercial construction market is highly competitive, with the major local and international players having created enough competitive environment in the sector. Still, the market opens opportunities for small and medium players due to increasing govt investments in the sector. The market presents opportunities for growth during the forecast period, which is expected to further drive market competition. With large players competing others for a significant share leaves the industry with no observable levels of consolidation.
A few key players in the market include SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., PCL Construction, EllisDon Group, Pomerleau, Inc., Bird construction company and IDL projects Limited.
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