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Chicago Construction Costs To Increase 4% In 2017

Wintrust Arena and the Marriott Marquis McCormick Place, Chicago

If theĀ record number of cranes in the air wasn't enough of a sign that the construction market in Chicago is saturated, Mortenson Construction's Q4 2016 cost index is here to hammer the point home. Based on the numbers, prepare for some sticker shock in 2017.

Construction costs in Q4 rose 1.3% over Q3, led by overall market activity and rising materials costs. Mortenson's report shows plumbing and electrical systems, HVAC, aluminum entrances, earthwork and resilient flooring costs all increased by at least 2.3%, while the costs of another six materials classifications (including masonry, elevators and steel doors/frames) grew by more than 1%.

By contrast, construction employment growth has slowed after its late 2014 peak, suggesting modest wage pressures, at best, and a sign that subcontractors are able to choose which projects, and GCs, they want to partner with.

Mortenson predicts a 4% overall increase in construction costs, based on its analysis. Read the full report here.