On-Site Magazine

Building construction prices continue to rise

By Adam Freill   

Construction Construction Materials Labour

Although price increases associated with the construction of buildings have slowed, costs advanced again in Q1 of 2024.

Building construction price indexes, quarterly change, first quarter of 2024. (Source: Statistics Canada, Table 18-10-0276-02.)

Statistics Canada reports that the first quarter of 2024 marked the slowest quarterly growth in residential and non-residential building construction costs since 2020, but prices continued to rise nonetheless. Residential building construction costs increased 0.8 per cent in the first quarter, following a 1.1 per cent increase in the previous quarter, while non-residential building construction costs also rose 0.8 per cent in Q1, following a 0.8 per cent increase in the previous quarter.

Based on Statistics Canada’s 11-census metropolitan area (CMA) composite, year-over-year construction costs for residential buildings rose 5.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2024, while non-residential building construction costs saw a slightly more modest increase of 4.6 per cent. Residential costs rose most in Halifax, which saw an increase of 8.1 per cent. Moncton’s rise of 7.9 per cent was the highest increase for non-residential buildings.

Skilled labour shortages and the resulting increases in labour rates, availability of materials, interest rate pressure, and building codes updates were all reported as key factors impacting the construction sector.

In overall residential building construction divisions, masonry and earthworks posted the largest quarterly increases in the first quarter, and 2.3 per cent each. Non-residential building construction costs increased across all but two divisions measured. General requirements, concrete, conveying equipment, and equipment each rose 1.1 per cent, while electrical and integrated automation experienced small cost declines.





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