BuildingTeam Construction Forecast

Construction Costs

10/30/2007 9:00:00 AM - With cooler months approaching and fuel prices rising, it's a good idea to make sure buildings are well-insulated. For residential structures, a good place to check is in the attic.

Low Unemployment Rate will Continue to Put Pressure on Ontario Construction Wages
10/24/2007 7:31:00 AM - According to a recent issue of the Ontario Ministry of Labour's Collective Bargaining Highlights, the overall average increase in base wage rates in August 2007 was 3.6%, up from 2.9% in July. This figure represents the largest increase in wage settlements since 2005. Regionally, strong labour demand in the West is putting pressure on wage rates in Ontario. Ontario employers are forced to pay more, not only to attract new staff, but also to retain their existing workforce.

Materials Inflation Tame, but Set to Rise
10/17/2007 6:09:00 AM - Construction materials inflation was moderate again in September 2007 at about a 2.5% annual rate. However, the price index is contained at just a little higher than overall inflation in the economy only due to a major negative contribution from homebuilding materials. Prices for the mix of materials used in nonresidential buildings increased at a 5% annual pace in September. Prices for the mix of materials used in highway construction increased at more than a 10% annual pace in September.

Membrane Roofing  Trends: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
10/15/2007 1:37:00 PM - No more tar and pitch (asphalt) covered with gravel on our flat roofs. While the gravel on our old asphalt roofs protected them against UV and wind damage, it also hid any leaks. Finding and repairing leaks on flat asphalt roofs covered with gravel was a perpetual problem for years. Thus, membrane roofing was born some 40 years ago, so now our flat roofs are "shrink wrapped."

Residential Door Tour: Installed Costs
10/8/2007 11:05:00 AM - "Why aren't you mad at me?" My wife asked, after having slid into the driver's seat of her car, pressed the automatic garage door opener and backed into the wood garage door — damaging both the door and the car. The right-hand spring on the overhead garage door had snapped. (I couldn't be mad at her for that!)

Construction Labor Cost Rise Moves ahead of Materials in Latest Quarter
10/4/2007 5:43:00 AM - According to the latest measurements of construction costs calculated by RSMeans, the rise in U.S. labor rates (+2.3%) quarter to quarter in July 2007 (i.e., versus April 2007) was a little higher than it was for material inputs (+2.0%). During the latest construction cycle, material costs have almost always increased faster than the installation or labor component. The latest result suggests that contractors will have to pay more attention to labor markets in the period ahead.

Calgary has Largest Year-over-year Increase In Construction Costs in Canada
10/3/2007 8:50:00 AM - The accompanying table sets out the results of RSMeans' latest Construction Cost Index (CCI) measurements for 20 of Canada's major cities in July 2007. According to RSMeans, Toronto has the highest construction costs in the country, followed closely by Hamilton and the two Alberta boom towns of Edmonton and Calgary. However, over the past twelve months, Calgary (+5.0%) saw the largest jump in overall construction costs, with Hamilton and Toronto right behind (both +4.8%).

Increase in U.S. Construction Costs the Lowest in Three-and-a-half Years
9/27/2007 5:47:00 AM - In July 2007, RSMeans' national construction cost index for the United States recorded its lowest year-over-year increase (+4.6%) in three-and-a-half years, dating back to January 2004 (+2.4%). During the intervening period, the largest year-over-year price jump (+10.5%) occurred in January 2005. The accompanying charts show construction cost performances, current and historical, for 49 major cities in the United States.

Chicago's Construction Costs Increase the Fastest in Latest Quarter
9/27/2007 5:33:00 AM - The accompanying table shows that in the latest quarter (July versus April), Chicago (+3.7%) led all 49 major U.S. cities in terms of construction cost increases. Fourteen other cities had construction cost increases of +2.5% or higher in the latest quarter, which annualizes to double digits. However, it is important to remember that quarter-to-quarter changes are often most dramatic in either the first or second quarters of the year, as the weather heats up and the construction season builds momentum.

Construction Materials Prices Fall 0.8% in August
9/24/2007 6:24:00 AM - Construction materials prices declined 0.8% in August from July, cutting the year-over-year increase to only 1.5%. More declines in the price index are expected in the next few months until homebuilders need to raise their purchases. Facility planners and contractors now have more cost risk from accelerating wage rate gains than from higher-than-expected materials cost. Reed Construction Data expects weak materials pricing will terminate around yearend, when total construction spending is again expanding.

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