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Amid Seattle’s red-hot development market, construction costs continue to rise

In the first quarter of 2017, Seattle’s construction market remained robust, outpacing national averages

SEATTLE – (April 27, 2017) – Mortenson Construction today released its quarterly Construction Cost Index report for Seattle and Denver markets. According to the report, the Seattle market’s construction costs in Q1 of 2017 continued growing while employment growth slowed from its 2016 high.

Construction costs for non-residential construction labor, material and equipment in Seattle were 3.8-percent higher than during the same period in 2016.

Mortenson recommends that building owners anticipate continued moderate cost increases between 3.5 and 4 percent during the next 12 months.

Once again, Seattle’s cost index steadily outpaced the national average — a trend it has sustained for some time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Seattle-area construction employment remains robust, despite slowing down relative to Q4 of 2016.

“Much has been said about Seattle’s building frenzy, and component costs and strong employment trends indicate a healthy flow of construction activity in the market,” said Mark Wagner, chief estimator at Mortenson. “Though employment growth has slowed down slightly, it still remains robust, suggesting wage growth in the coming year.”

Building materials and components in Seattle experiencing the highest cost increases in the first quarter of 2017 (as compared to Q4 2016) included steel framing, gypsum board systems and roofing systems. All other categories experienced slight growth or remained flat.

Mortenson tracks and reports on six metropolitan areas in the U.S. including Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix and Seattle. The Mortenson Construction Cost Index is calculated quarterly by pricing representative non-residential construction projects in various metropolitan areas. It is part of a portfolio of industry insights and market studies provided by Mortenson. The Construction Cost Index is available for download at http://www.mortenson.com/cost-index.

About Mortenson
Since 1982, Mortenson Construction has provided diversified construction services offering customer-centric general contracting, construction management, design-build, program management, project development and “turn-key” development in Seattle. Mortenson has built over 250 projects valued at more than $4 billion. Clients include: Alaska Airlines, Boeing, City of Seattle, City of Tacoma, Group Health, Microsoft, Providence Hospital, Snohomish County, Tulalip Tribes, the University of Washington, among others. For more information, please visit www.mortenson.com.