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Materials drive non-res construction costs down, Stats Can reports


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November 10, 2015 by STAFF REPORT

Drop in construction material costs in the structural trades sector has resulted in a drop in ICI building costs
Drop in construction material costs in the structural trades sector has resulted in a drop in ICI building costs

Lower material prices in the structural trades has resulted in the composite price index for non-residential building construction to fall for the first time in nearly six years, Statistics Canada reported today.

The third quarter decline of 0.4 per cent compared with the previous quarter was the first quarterly decline since the first quarter of 2010. The decrease was mainly the result of lower material prices reported by contractors in the structural trades.

Of the seven census metropolitan areas surveyed, Calgary and Edmonton recorded the largest decreases (both -1.3 per cent), followed by Montréal (-0.6 per cent). Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver reported the only increases (all +0.3 per cent).

Year-over-year, the composite price index for non-residential building construction rose 0.5 per cent. The largest year-over-year increase was recorded in Toronto (+1.8 per cent), while Edmonton (-1.6 per cent) and Calgary (-1.2 per cent) both reported decreases compared with the third quarter of 2014.

The Non-residential Building Construction Price Index is a quarterly series that measures changes in contractors’ selling prices of new non-residential building construction in seven census metropolitan areas: Halifax, Montréal, Ottawa–Gatineau (Ontario part), Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Three classes of structures are covered: commercial, industrial and institutional.

Selling prices include costs of materials, labour, equipment, provincial sales taxes where applicable, and contractors’ overhead and profit. The cost of land, land assembly, design and development as well as real estate fees are excluded. Value added taxes such as the Federal Goods and Services Tax and the Harmonized Sales Tax are excluded.

With each release, data for the previous quarter may have been revised. The index is not seasonally adjusted.

The Non-residential Building Construction Price Index for the fourth quarter of 2015 will be released on February 9, 2016.


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