Increased lumber costs and a labor shortage continue to be concerns in seniors housing construction projects across the country, according to a new brief prepared for the American Seniors Housing Association by The Weitz Co.

Lumber prices have increased 13% because of hurricane-related activity and the threat of tariffs on wood from Canada. Nevertheless, according to the brief, the market continues to be strong, although Weitz also noted annualized inflation of 3.5 to 5% in some markets and 6 to 8% in the busiest markets.

The per-square-foot cost of construction this winter in independent living has averaged $141 to $211, depending on materials and finished used, the report said. Costs in assisted living averaged $170 to $270 per square foot.

Calculations include general conditions, insurance, tax, bond and fee but not site construction costs. See the graphic below for additional information. For more information, read the brief here.