StatsCan blames higher costs for masonry work, and materials including steel, lumber and concrete

Mario ToneguzziPrices for the construction of new residential buildings rose more than those for new non-residential buildings in the first quarter of 2018 in Calgary and Edmonton, according to Statistics Canada.

Across the country, the federal agency, in a report released on Wednesday, said “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.”

StatsCan said the residential building construction rose 1.2 per cent in Calgary and 1.0 per cent in Edmonton from the fourth quarter of 2017. It was up 1.8 per cent across Canada.

On a yearly basis, Calgary increased by 5.8 per cent, Edmonton by 5.3 per cent and Canada by 7.2 per cent.

For non-residential buildings, the quarterly hikes were 0.4 per cent for Calgary, 0.5 per cent for Edmonton and 0.9 per cent for Canada.

The annual increases were 1.3 per cent for both Calgary and Edmonton and 2.7 per cent for Canada.

StatsCan surveyed 11 census metropolitan areas.

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

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