Construction Spending Forecasted to Increase in 2018

April 13, 2018

Construction spending is expected to outpace its 2017 rate this year, according to the FMI Construction Outlook 2018 First Quarter Report. The forecast predicts engineering and construction spending to end 2018 up 7% in the U.S. compared to 4% last year.

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Trade Disputes Loom Over Future of Construction Material Prices

April 11, 2018

As economists question the impact of U.S. trade disputes on various sectors, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported rising construction material input prices for March, noting increases in the price of steel/iron and softwood lumber. In its report on April 10, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) said construction material prices were nearly 6% higher than this time last year, with a 0.8% expansion over February.

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Dodge Momentum Index Strong in First Quarter

April 9, 2018

The Dodge Momentum Index from Dodge Data & Analytics continued its solid start to 2018 in March at a level of 155. That’s more than 6% higher than the revised February reading of 146. The index measures nonresidential building projects in the planning stage and is a leading indicator to nonresidential construction spending over the next 12 months.

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High Construction Self-Employment Caused by Payroll Elimination, Layoffs

April 6, 2018

Nearly two years ago, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a survey on single-family builders and the lack of labor and subcontractors in the construction industry. On April 5, NAHB said the accelerating construction self-employment rate is a defining factor in these “extreme shortages,” with more than 23% of those in the industry working for themselves.

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Nonresidential Construction Spending Suffers in February, but Why?

April 3, 2018

Nonresidential construction experienced minimal gains in February over the prior month, following what the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) described as “tepid” spending growth. In its analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, ABC reported that nonresidential construction increased 0.1%, with spending growth showing a little more than 1% in gains as of February 2017.

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Higher Returns Seen in Apartment Investments

March 29, 2018

Commercial real estate investors, who haven’t already, might want to consider apartments for their next property investment after a February National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) study found that the asset outperformed other properties in returns, including office, industrial and retail space.

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Construction Costs Continue Increasing Trend

March 26, 2018

Construction costs continue their torrid pace despite a slight slowdown in March. The IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index declined 1.1 points to 57.8 this month; however, the above 50 score still signifies rising prices.

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New Construction Starts Decline for Second Consecutive Month

March 23, 2018

New construction starts declined in February for the second consecutive month, falling a total of 5% since January, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.

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Architecture Billings Remain in Growth Territory

March 22, 2018

Architecture billings continued their residency in expansion territory despite a slight setback in February. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) dropped 2.7 points last month to a score of 52.

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Building Permits, Housing Starts Down in February

March 19, 2018

Privately owned building permits and housing starts suffered significant setbacks in February. Permits were nearly 6% behind the revised January rate, and housing starts down by 7% of January’s revised estimate, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, housing completions were almost 8% above January’s numbers.

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