It's costing more for builders to build homes, offices

By Steve Randall

The cost of both residential and non-residential construction edged higher in the third quarter of 2019.

New figures from Statistics Canada shows that Canadian builders saw a 0.6% increase in construction costs for residential buildings compared to the previous quarter, while non-residential buildings cost 0.5% more.

Single-family homes and townhomes saw the largest increases in cost at 0.7%.

Among the reasons for the higher costs were labour shortages as skilled trades were harder to find, pushing up contractors’ fees charged to builders. This was particularly evident in Ottawa, Montréal, Edmonton and Calgary.

For non-residential buildings, where offices and factories saw the largest increases in costs (both 0.6%), it was material costs and labour shortages that had the biggest impact, especially in Toronto, Montréal, and Ottawa.

Annual increase
Costs for residential (+2.4%) and non-residential (+2.9%) building construction were up over the 12-month period ending in the third quarter.

 On an annual basis, construction costs for residential buildings rose the most in Ottawa (+5.1%) and Vancouver (+4.3%). For non-residential buildings, the largest year-over-year price increases were in Montréal (+4.0%) and Ottawa (+3.8%).

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