Seattle Construction Costs Outpace the Rest of the U.S.
Construction costs in Seattle rose 7.76% between October 2022 and October 2023, according to a fourth-quarter construction cost report from Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB). National construction costs jumped 5.9% over that period. In addition to higher borrowing costs and inflation, developers in Seattle also struggle with some of the highest wages in the country, reported the Puget Sound Business Journal.
The average construction industry worker in Seattle earns $37.58 per hour, compared to the national average of $28.08, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite the mounting costs, many major developments in the Seattle area are in the works, including the $700 million Harvest mixed-use community under development and the recently financed mixed-use housing development Trace 4001.
Similarly, Seattle also leads in office development even while the city has one of the lowest occupancy rates with 6.59 million square feet of office space under construction — the third most in the country.
Jasmine Kilman is Content Director of Connect Commercial Real Estate, covering Chicago and greater Chicagoland, the Midwest, Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest. She covers industry trends, transaction deals, market research, and produces daily news stories.
With experience in marketing and communications for academic nonprofits and corporate clients, including Hearst Media, Hilton, and Coldwell Banker, Kilman has written about commercial real estate, environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), technology, healthcare, and philanthropy. She was born and raised in California and graduated with a degree in public relations. In her spare time, Kilman enjoys hiking and traveling to new locations with her family.