What it costs to build a house
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A high quality 2,000-square-foot detached house would cost up to $460,000 in hard construction costs to build in Vancouver, $420,000 in Toronto, but around $300,000 in Montreal, Calgary or Halifax, based on the Altus Group Canadian Construction Cost Guide 2018.
The annual report also shows that prices for quality custom-built houses are much higher in either Toronto or Vancouver than anywhere else in Canada. For example, a high-end custom-built house in Toronto has per-square-foot construction costs of $900 and reaches $1,000 in Vancouver. This compares with Montreal, at a maximum of $700 per square foot and Halifax at $600.
The price spread is also pronounced in the condominium sector.
In Vancouver, for example, Altus Group says construction costs for a higher quality four-storey wood-frame condo building would peak at $225 per square foot. This compares with $195 per square foot in Toronto and $175 or less in nearly every other city in the country.
While the Altus Guide provides a price range of construction costs to account for different levels of quality, Home BUILDER is reporting only the higher range of prices for the sake of consistent comparison across markets.
The Altus Guide cost estimates are for hard construction costs only, and do not include land values or any of the soft costs associated with completing a residential unit such as landscaping, legal fees, financing costs, marketing or commissions. Altus did not provide an explanation why construction costs would vary so much from one jurisdiction to another.