Canadian construction costs total $210B in 2018

The amount of new real estate projects in the pipeline for 2019 is up close to 20 per cent over 2018

Western Investor
February 26, 2019

residential construction
Despite record housing construction and punitive measures against residential investors, B.C. home prices and sales are forecast to increase in 2018. | Business in Vancouver


Real estate projects across Canada totalled $210 billion in construction costs last year, led by $87 billion in 1,550 residential projects. Approximately 210,000 new homes are expected for 2019, with an additional $85 billion in residential renovations projects in the pipeline. 

But according to Altus Group, GDP growth took a hit as tightening mortgage rules, higher interest rates and uncertainty over trade conditions introduced throughout the year will impact the national market into 2019. 

“Many housing markets ended 2018 in a ‘soft landing’ as buyers and markets adjusted to the higher interest rates,” Altus’ 2019 Canadian Cost Guide reports. “But this pause means no new mortgage rules on the horizon.”

Residential costs for new condominiums in Vancouver ranged between $200 and $290 per buildable square foot for projects up to 12 storeys. Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg prices ranged from $180 to $265 per square foot buildable. 

Vancouver industrial costs for warehouse buildings ranged between $95 and $135-per-square-foot to build, while Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg prices ranged from $80 to $115 per square foot buildable. 

“Commercial investment remained strong [in 2018], as demand for office and industrial space resulted in a continued decline in vacancies,” the report reads. 

More than 300 million square feet of real estate is expected to start nationally through 2019, up from the 256 million square feet in 2018.

Tanya is a recent graduate of Langara College's journalism program and spent a summer freelancing for The Burnaby NOW and The Record, following a reporting internship with the publications. She joins Western Investor as an editorial assistant. Very much a millennial, she sees the irony in writing about real estate she will likely never be able to afford.
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