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National Construction Costs Continue Upward Trend

With current data from mid-Q4 2023, the latest quarterly cost report by Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) shows that the national average increase in construction costs was 1.32 percent over the previous quarter, with Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Portland, Seattle, and Washington D.C...

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With current data from mid-Q4 2023, the latest quarterly cost report by Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) shows that the national average increase in construction costs was 1.32 percent over the previous quarter, with Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Portland, Seattle, and Washington D.C. experiencing increases over the national average this quarter. Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, and San Francisco experienced gains that were less than the national average.

“While there are a lot of positive indicators for the industry right now, including consumer confidence, moderating inflation, and low unemployment, there are still enough other indicators showing us that the economic uncertainty hasn’t become any clearer,” says Paul Brussow, president of RLB North America. “The newest numbers on the ABI, the chronic workforce challenges, and potential soft recession still feed the uncertainty and a potential slowdown for 2024.”

Other notable results:

  • The U.S. quarterly national average increase in construction cost is approximately 1.53 percent and 5.28 percent year-over-year
  • The construction unemployment rate is up slightly to 3.8 percent from 3.4 percent in the same time period last year
  • The Architectural Billings Index (ABI), which is used to help predict nonresidential construction activity 9-12 months in advance, is 44.3, the third month in a row of significant decreases

The full QCR Q4 2023 report can be found on the RLB website at www.rlb.com/Americas.

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