Senior Living Construction Costs Brief (Winter 2019)

February 1, 2019 / News Blog

This special issue brief was prepared for the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) by Larry Graeve and Amy Burk of The Weitz Company. For additional information, please contact:

  • Larry Graeve (515.286.4822)
  • Ben Bruns (515.240.5456)
  • Amy Burk (515.286.4842)

Tariffs played a big part in pushing inflation upward the past six months. That, coupled with the labor shortage, caused a significant increase of 6 to 8 percent for the year-over-year rate. We are, however, seeing signs of market cooling. According to Engineering News-Record (ENR), the Construction Industry Confidence Index (CICI) dropped from a score of 70 in the third quarter to 59 in the fourth quarter. The CICI is a survey of 250 large construction and design firms. Most believe the market will decline later in 2019 or early into 2020. Another indicator is the Architectural Billing Index, which also shows a decline over the same period. Much of the information reviewed indicates a steady market for the first half of 2019, but a potential for slowing later in the year.

*Costs are full burden and include general conditions, insurance, tax, bond and fee, but do not include site costs. *The above costs are based on a city index of 100. Each city carries a different index. For example, Wichita, KS, has an index of 85.6, which translates to a cost range of $134-$159 per SF for independent living; Philadelphia, PA, has an Index of 115.2, which translates to a cost range of $180-$214 per SF for independent living. These indices, coupled with local market conditions, are essential when comparing overall pricing.