U.S. construction trends and outlook (Q1 2015)

May 7, 2015
In late 2014, oil prices experienced significant declines due to oversaturated supply and a slowdown in global demand. Prices have since stabilized but at depressed levels. Materials prices were projected to drop in correlation with oil, but high demand for most major construction inputs has kept prices up overall. Low gas prices typically drive an uptick in demand for retail, e-commerce, and industrial real estate. However, shipping costs remain high due to a decline in available labor, negating much of the oil price savings. In the office market, the development pipeline continues to expand alongside rents, which increased 3.1 percent this quarter. U.S. markets are set to deliver more than 80 million square feet currently under development. Energy-heavy markets such as Houston are exceptions to this trend, as declining demand stifles the need for new space.
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