According to a report by JLL, U.S. construction spending reached $317 billion in the third quarter, a 1 percent growth increase year-over-year, compared with 7 to 10 percent increases for the same quarter in previous years.
“The construction industry is cyclical and a national slowdown is to be expected,” says Todd Burns, JLL president, project and development services. “In 2017, industry players will be closely monitoring real estate decisions, per project staffing, and tech and hardware innovations to get the most bang for their buck.”
In addition to economic uncertainty, high labor and material costs are cited as potential risks to continued spending. But the report also noted that there is a roughly eight-month backlog of projects across the United States. Sector highlights include the following:
Office: The office construction pipeline reached its highest point this cycle at 105.4 million square feet (9.8 million sq m) in the third quarter of 2016, up 4.8 million square feet (446,000 sq m) from last quarter. But starts declined by 10.6 million square feet (985,000 sq m) this quarter, illustrating a possible hesitance to begin new projects.
Industrial: The growth rate of industrial new project deliveries continues to increase year-over-year, as the under-construction pipeline remains steady at 204.3 million square feet (19 million sq m). Vacancy continues to decline as the sector hits 5.8 percent—the lowest rate in over 16 years.
Hospitality: Metrics for the U.S. hotel industry continue to suggest that the sector is stabilizing at normal levels. The supply pipeline has increased 1.5 percent year-to-date, but this growth remains below the long-term average of 2 percent.
Retail: The retail under-construction pipeline continues to climb, reaching 82.4 million square feet (7.7 million sq m) in the third quarter. Starts are at their highest in the Southwest region, boasting 6.7 million square feet (622,000 sq m) in the last quarter.