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Building construction price indexes, second quarter 2023

Released: 2023-07-31

National overview

Residential building construction costs increased 1.9% in the second quarter, following 1.8% growth in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, non-residential building construction costs rose 1.5% in the second quarter, following a 1.7% increase in the previous quarter.

Year over year, construction costs for residential buildings in the 11-census metropolitan area (CMA) composite rose 7.5% in the second quarter, whereas non-residential building construction costs rose 7.0%. Toronto (+13.0%) led year-over-year growth in construction costs for residential buildings, while Moncton (+12.5%) led growth for non-residential building.

Skilled labour shortages, cost of materials and labour rate changes were reported by contractors as key factors impacting the construction sector.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Building construction price indexes, quarterly change, second quarter of 2023
Building construction price indexes, quarterly change, second quarter of 2023

Varied movements in residential construction costs

While a majority of CMAs recorded quarterly growth in residential building construction costs in the second quarter, four CMAs reported decreases. Costs to construct residential buildings increased the most in Toronto (+3.8%) and Halifax (+2.9%), whereas Edmonton (-1.2%) recorded the largest decline in costs, followed by Saskatoon (-0.3%).

The diverging price movements of key construction materials impacted residential construction costs. In the second quarter, prices continued to rise for cement and ferrous metals, while they declined for lumber, plastics and non-ferrous metals.

In the 11-CMA composite, the cost to build high-rise apartments (+2.8%) grew the most of all residential buildings in scope for the survey, followed by single-detached homes (+1.8%).

Concrete continues to drive increase in non-residential construction costs

Non-residential building construction costs grew the most for structural steel framing (+2.6%) in the second quarter, followed by concrete (+2.5%) and metal fabrications (+2.4%) divisions. The continued increase in concrete prices drove the rise in costs, as concrete is a major component in non-residential construction.

Of all non-residential buildings surveyed, the cost to build factories and warehouses (both up 1.8%) rose the most in the 11-CMA composite.

Costs to construct non-residential buildings increased the most in Moncton (+3.9%), Vancouver (+2.7%) and Ottawa (+2.5%).


  Note to readers

The building construction price indexes are quarterly series that measure the change over time in the prices that contractors charge to construct a range of commercial, institutional, industrial and residential buildings in 11 census metropolitan areas (CMAs): St. John's, Halifax, Moncton, Montréal, Ottawa–Gatineau (Ontario part), Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

These buildings include six non-residential structures: an office building, a warehouse, a shopping centre, a factory, a school, and a bus depot with maintenance and repair facilities. In addition, indexes are produced for four residential structures: a single-detached house, a townhouse, a high-rise apartment building (five storeys or more) and a low-rise apartment building (fewer than five storeys).

The contractor's price reflects the value of all materials, labour, equipment, overhead and profit to construct a new building. It excludes value-added taxes and any costs for land, land assembly, building design, land development and real estate fees.

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

With the release of data from the fourth quarter of 2022, table 18-10-0135 has been archived and replaced by table 18-10-0276. The information that was in table 18-10-0135 is still in the new table. However, the new table also shows data by construction division. Data are now available for 23 divisions and for a composite of these divisions. Newly integrated divisional data are available starting from the first quarter of 2017.

Products

The Building Construction Price Indexes Data Visualization Tool is now available. It provides access to current and historical data from the Building Construction Price Index (BCPI) for four residential and six non-residential building types, for the CMAs of St. John's, Halifax, Moncton, Montréal, Ottawa–Gatineau (Ontario part), Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver as well as for a composite of these 11 CMAs, in a dynamic and customizable format.

The Technical Guide for the Building Construction Price Index is now available. This document provides details on the methodology used to calculate the BCPI.

Statistics Canada launched the Producer Price Indexes Portal as part of a suite of portals for prices and price indexes. This webpage provides Canadians with a single point of access to a wide variety of statistics and measures related to producer prices.

The video "Producer price indexes" is available on the Statistics Canada Training Institute webpage. It provides an introduction to Statistics Canada's producer price indexes: what they are, how they are made and what they are used for.

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; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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