Construction Costs and Operations Costs: What’s Really the Problem?

I am hearing different stories from clients in my discussions.  There is no doubt that occupancies in Senior Living are down.  There is no doubt that projects are requiring more equity, and equity demands a higher return.  There is no doubt that staffing is more difficult to find and more expensive.  There is also no doubt that construction prices have risen dramatically in the past six to eight months due to supply issues caused by a myriad of factors. 

A client said to Bob Ritter, our Director of Business Development, the other day that he couldn’t look at new construction projects because construction costs were too high.  I wonder if that is accurate.  My experience in owning Senior Living projects is that capital costs are a minor part of the total operating budget.  Operating costs are the vast majority.  So if construction costs go up 10%, as an example, it...

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What’s Actually Going On with Construction Prices?

It is the question everyone is asking in the construction industry right now, “What’s happening with prices, and when will it come back down?” The short answer is, no one can say for certain.

What we do know are a few key principles that can help all of us be more discerning consumers of current information:

  1. Commodity Prices do not Equal Actual Costs - Many people have taken to following publicly-traded commodity indexes to understand where things are going. While this can give us some insight; many things affect the commodity indexes besides just the actual cost of the materials. For material markets that have been hit extremely hard, turning to trusted suppliers is the only way to know where prices are and what is to come. 
  2. Supply Trumps Demand - In certain markets, such as lumber and PVC, an extreme shortage in supply is driving the price and...

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