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As Seattle’s Building Boom Surges, Costs Show Slight Uptick

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Essex Property Trust, Seattle, Puget Sound, Northern California

In the second quarter of 2017, Seattle’s construction market continues to outpace national averages

SEATTLE – (July 25, 2017) – Mortenson Construction today released its quarterly Construction Cost Index for Seattle. According to the report, the Seattle market’s construction costs in Q2 of 2017 continued growing while employment growth has slowed from the 2016 high.

Construction costs for non-residential construction labor, material and equipment in Seattle were 3.6-percent higher than a year ago.

Mortenson recommends that building owners anticipate continued moderate cost increases between 3.5 and 4 percent through the remainder of 2017.

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 growth has slowed relative to the highs experienced in 2016.

“While market costs in Seattle continue to outpace national trends, flat component costs and stable employment trends suggest future cost increases will be moderate,” said Mark Wagner, chief estimator at Mortenson. “With slowed employment growth, the pace of wage acceleration is much more predictable.”

Building materials and components in Seattle experiencing the highest cost increases in the second quarter of 2017 (as compared to Q1 2017) included steel framing, cast-in-place concrete, carpentry and millwork, and gypsum board 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.