Residential Drives Increased Construction Prices

Prices for residential building construction rose 0.5 per cent in the second quarter, while the cost of non-residential building construction edged up 0.1 per cent, says Statistics Canada. Residential building construction prices rose in most of the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) covered by the survey in the second quarter, while non-residential prices edged up on low demand for commercial building construction and increased competition. New construction projects slowed considerably in the wake of COVID-19, with the value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities falling 17.1 per cent from March to April, including a record 14.2 per cent decline for single-family dwellings. Projects that were approved and begun during the first quarter may have also been delayed or paused due to provincially mandated shutdowns, supply chain disruptions, and labour shortages. Construction activity had resumed in every jurisdiction nationally by May 19. Residential building construction costs rose 2.1 per cent year over year in the second quarter, following a 2.2 per cent increase in the first quarter. Non-residential building construction costs rose at a slower pace, up 1.5 per cent year over year following a 1.9 per cent rise in the first quarter.