MARSHFIELD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The housing market is on fire, and construction costs are way up. For one South Shore town, that could cause some changes, or even an unexpected delay to its plans for a new Public Works building.
Marshfield had planned to go out to bid on the project at the end of June, and had budgeted $11 million for the project. But Town Administrator Mike Maresco said the project might need to be scaled down .
"We're nervous about, 'what are those costs going to be, when we go out onto the market?' Because that will be affected by the cost of lumber, the cost of steel," he said.
The costs of lumber and steel have risen sharply amid a home-building boom at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Massachusetts Association of Realtors said closing prices on houses in Massachusetts were up 20% over May of last year, and housing supply was down 64%.
Because of the hot market, Maresco said the construction bids for the project could come in higher than expected, so the town has created three scaled down versions for a new DPW building.
In a worst-case scenario, the town will need to put off building the project until the fall.
WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports: