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Building construction price indexes, first quarter 2018

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Released: 2018-05-23

Prices for the construction of new residential buildings rose more than those for new non-residential buildings in the first quarter of 2018. Increases for both building types were driven, in part, by higher costs for masonry work, as well as for materials including steel, lumber and concrete.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Building construction price indexes, quarter-to-quarter change
Building construction price indexes, quarter-to-quarter change

This is the first release of the building construction price indexes, a program which aims to provide a more comprehensive portrait of both new residential and non-residential building construction in Canada.

Residential buildings, quarterly change

Contractor prices rose 1.8% for the construction of new residential buildings in the first quarter, following a 1.4% increase in the previous quarter. Higher prices for the construction of new low-rise apartment buildings (+2.1%) led the gain.

Among the 11 surveyed census metropolitan areas (CMAs), prices for new residential building construction rose the most in Winnipeg (+7.3%). Higher labour and material costs, as well as the introduction of a new municipal fee, contributed to the increase. Other notable price increases occurred in Vancouver (+2.2%) and Toronto (+1.6%).

Residential buildings, 12-month change

Prices charged by contractors for new residential building construction increased 7.3% in the first quarter compared with the same quarter in 2017.

Prices grew the most in Winnipeg (+14.7%), followed by Vancouver (+9.6%) and Toronto (+8.3%).

Non-residential buildings, quarterly change

In the first quarter of 2018, prices for new non-residential building construction increased 0.9% for the 11 CMAs included in the survey. Across building types, prices rose the most for the construction of new industrial buildings (+1.4%).

Contractors working in Toronto reported the largest quarterly price increase at 1.4%.

Non-residential buildings, 12-month change

Prices charged by contractors for new non-residential building construction rose 2.7% over the 12-month period ending in the first quarter of 2018. Higher prices in Vancouver (+4.7%) and Montréal (+4.1%) led the gain.


  Note to readers

Changes to the building construction price indexes

With the release of first quarter 2018 data, a number of important changes have been introduced to increase the relevance of the building construction price indexes.

Non-residential building construction price indexes are now produced based on updated building models which reflect newer construction technologies and materials. Also, a new transit building index has been added to increase coverage of building construction in the industrial sector.

Coverage of building construction activity has been expanded with the launch of new residential building construction price indexes. These include an updated high-rise apartment building index, replacing the previously published Apartment Building Construction Price Index, as well as new indexes for a single-detached house, a townhouse and a low-rise apartment building.

The geographical coverage has been expanded for all of the non-residential and residential building construction price indexes to include four new census metropolitan areas (CMAs). These additions provide a more comprehensive representation of building construction activity across Canadian provinces.

Trade group level indexes (for example, mechanical, electrical) are no longer published on CANSIM. However, they are available to users upon request.

The building construction price indexes have a 2017=100 base year. The weights used for the 2017=100 indexes are a price-adjusted, three-year average of the value of building permits issued for each of the surveyed CMAs from 2014 to 2016.

The historical continuity of the building construction price indexes has been maintained, wherever possible, by linking the new building construction price indexes in CANSIM table 327-0058 with comparable historical index series published in the archived CANSIM tables 327-0043 and 327-0044.

A Historical Timeline of Canadian Producer Price Statistics

"A Historical Timeline of Canadian Producer Price Statistics," which is part of the Prices Analytical Series (Catalogue number62F0014M), was created to showcase the key milestones in the history of Canadian producer price statistics. This historical timeline contains answers to questions such as: Who collected Canada's first statistics? What do Canadian producer price indexes measure?

Infographic: Producer Price Indexes at a Glance

The infographic "Producer Price Indexes at a Glance," which is part of Statistics Canada — Infographics (Catalogue number11-627-M) demonstrates how producer price indexes for goods and services are calculated and why they are important for the Canadian economy.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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