2015 was a banner year for post-recession construction activity:
- Office space under construction peaked at 92.8 m.s.f.
- Industrial construction was the shining star as consumer confidence grew.
- Construction costs increased in primary office markets, driven by skyrocketing labor costs, which motivated growth in secondary markets.
A recent article in Forbes explores what happened in 2015:
Construction spending in the U.S. in 2015 reached a level not seen since the financial crash, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Last year’s expenditures rose to $1.097 trillion, 10.5% higher than 2014′s expenditures of $993.4 billion and the highest level since 2007, when construction spending stood at 1.148 trillion.
The bulk of last year’s expenditures jump came via the private sector, which accounts for more than 70% of all construction spending. In 2015 the value of private construction was $806.1 billion, 12.3% above the $717.7 billion spent in 2014. Private construction includes new homes and apartments as well as private non-residential projects. Although housing economists continue to warn that residential construction is not keeping pace with demand, 2015 did welcome a strong increase in residential expenditures: at $416.8 billion, spending on new homes was 12.6% higher than in 2014. Nonresidential construction, which includes commercial buildings, private schools, lodging and other non-residential projects, finished at $389.3 billion, 12% higher than the year before.