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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

May 02, 2024

Halifax's residential building construction prices increased by 8.1% from Q1 2023 to Q1 2024 - this was the fastest growth in residential construction costs among major cities. Halifax building cost increases were the fastest among major cities for single-detached units, townhouses and low rise apartments.  Only for high-rise apartments were year-over-year building cost increases in Halifax (4.9%) below the national average (6.8%).

Across Canada, residential building construction costs were up by 5.2%.  Edmonton reported the slowest rise in residential building construction costs.

In the last quarter of data, Halifax's year-over-year construction costs declined.  Halifax's residential building cost inflation peaked at 19.1% from Q1 2021 to Q1 2022.  Halifax residential building construction cost growth slowed over the next four quarters, but started accelerating again at the beginning of 2023 (exception: high-rise apartment buildings, whose cost growth was stable).   

Non-residential building cost inflation is generally slower than residential building cost inflation. Overall non-residential building costs were up 3.5% in Halifax from Q1 2023 to Q1 2024. The pace of building cost inflation was slower for office buildings (+3.4%), shopping centres (+3.1%), bus depot/repair facilities (+2.5%) and schools (+3.0%). There was faster growth for warehouse structures (+4.1%) and factory buildings (+4.7%).

Across the 11 major Census Metropolitan Areas, overall non-residential building construction costs grew at a faster pace than in Halifax. Moncton reported the fastest year-over-year growth in non-residential building construction. Montréal reported the slowest pace of growth.

As with residential building costs, Halifax's non-residential building construction cost growth peaked in Q1 2022 and subsequently decelerated. Unlike residential building construction costs (apart from high rise apartments), non-residential building construction costs continued to slow throughout 2023. 

Among components of building costs, residential construction inflation is up most (>10%) for: wood/plastics/composites, masonry, earthworks and thermal/moisture protection as well as general requirements.

Non-residential building construction costs grew most rapidly among general requirements, concrete and wood/plastics/composites.

Statistics Canada Notes on the Building Construction Price Index: 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: 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 five residential structures: a bungalow, a two-storey 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.

Statistics Canada. Table 18-10-0276-01  Building construction price indexes, by type of building and division

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