Pricing Data Services

Xactware Industry Trends for 1st Quarter 2021

This bulletin gives a brief overview of recent pricing trends in the property insurance, construction, and restoration industries.

As a reporter of market-specific pricing information for repairing or rebuilding structures and replacing personal property, Xactware conducts hundreds of thousands of industry surveys, and reviews millions of data points per year submitted through field estimates written by contractors and adjusters as well as electronic data feeds provided by retail merchants. This extensive library of research enables Xactware to provide a comprehensive report of important industry trends.


Material costs are highly variable and are sometimes impacted by factors such as fuel costs, changes to industry practices, or natural disasters. Xactware closely monitors a wide variety of material costs across the country to ensure its price lists reflect any recent changes to pricing.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, Xactware observed changes to six key material categories. While paint material had the largest quarterly increase of 5.94 per cent, lumber material costs had the largest annual increase of 42.71 per cent since January 2020.

The Material Composite Index report tracks a combination of several commonly used material components, including floor covering, paint, and roofing. The index showed a 1.59 per cent increase in the fourth quarter of 2020 and a 10.8 per cent increase since January 2020.


Xactware’s Pricing Data Services team also surveys thousands of contractors across the country each month to determine what they are charging for labour. The most significant change observed in key labour categories occurred in the labour cost of a siding installer, which increased 19.76 per cent over the fourth quarter of 2020 and 24.01 per cent since January 2020.

The Retail Labour Index tracks a combination of several common trades, including floor covering, painting, and roofing. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the index showed a 2.17 per cent cost increase. Since January 2020, it showed a cost increase of 7.34 per cent.

The individual trades that contribute to the Retail Labour Index varied in their per cent change over the quarter. The most significant quarterly change occurred in the labour cost of a siding installer which increased 19.76 per cent since October 2020.

Combined Trends

The Combined Labour and Materials report is based on monthly building cost data published by Xactware. It comprises a set of commonly used items and may be used as an indicator of trends within the marketplace. The combination of labour and materials makes up the majority of Xactware price list items. Tracking the per cent change for the cost of these items provides a good gauge of the general market.

The Combined Labour and Materials report showed a cost increase of 2.12 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020 and a 7.64 per cent increase over the year.

Fuel Costs

Fuel costs are extremely volatile and are a factor in item pricing, since low oil prices can push down the price of some raw materials. Fuel prices have increased 3.03 per cent over the fourth quarter but have decreased 8.73 per cent since January 2020. Xactware’s Pricing Data Services carefully tracks fuel costs to ensure accurate pricing.


Since January 2020, lumber prices have dramatically increased by 42.71 per cent in Canada. During the fourth quarter of 2020 lumber prices increased 3.67 per cent. Sheathing materials have shown to be more volatile and have increased 10.02 per cent from October 2020 to January 2021. Xactware is continually monitoring lumber materials and making warranted adjustments from focused surveys with suppliers for each monthly price list publication. 

Personal Protective Equipment

Due to the current impacts of COVID-19, Xactware is closely monitoring the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE). Since March 2020, the average national cost of PPE items increased 42 per cent. Xactware will continue to monitor this situation and report changes as they arise. 

Where to Learn More

Annual Property Report

Xactware publishes annual property reports that focus on key trends during the previous calendar year. To order a copy of Xactware’s Property Report for Canada or the United States, please visit the Xactware Online Store.

Industry Trend Reports

Using Industry Trend Reports, Xactware customers can examine pricing trends on national, state or province, and local levels for key material and labour pricing changes in multiple trades. Trends can be viewed by the month or over extended periods of time. For more information about Xactware’s Industry Trend Reports, or to receive access to them, please contact your sales representative or call 1-800-424-9228.

Pricing Methodology White Paper

For more information about Xactware’s methodology for researching and publishing pricing information, please see the Pricing Research Methodology white paper on the eService Center.

Unless otherwise stated, the values reported in this bulletin are national averages for Canada and will vary from local prices.