October 27, 2014
By Neal Tepel
New York – NY — Driven by an unprecedented surge in high-end residential construction, as well as by continued strength in the commercial and government sectors, New York City construction activity is brushing up against the extraordinary heights experienced during the boom years of 2007 and 2008, according to New York City Construction Outlook 2014-2016, an annual forecast and analysis prepared by the New York Building Congress with support from the New York Building Foundation.
The Building Congress forecasts $32.9 billion New York City construction spending in 2014, a 17 percent increase from 2013, when spending reached $28.2 billion. Construction spending is expected to increase further—to $35.3 billion in 2015 and $35.6 billion in 2016. If the forecast holds, it will mark the first time that construction spending has topped $32 billion.
Once inflation in construction costs is factored in, however, overall construction activity is expected to register slightly below the levels achieved in 2007 and 2008, during the height of the previous building boom. When measured in current dollars, this year’s forecasted spending of $32.9 billion would be about 17 percent below the 2007 peak in terms of volume of work actually delivered, while 2015 would come in at 13 percent below peak activity.
“Thanks to an improving economy, increased foreign investment, and continued progress on a handful of major public and private sector initiatives, the New York City construction market has just about fully rebounded from its post-recession depths and is nearing boom territory once again,” said Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson.
The Building Congress forecasts an increase of more than 2,000 construction jobs—from 120,900 in 2013 to 123,000 in 2014. Industry employment is expected to increase further—to 125,100 jobs in 2015 and 127,300 in 2016. The 2016 jobs total would be the second highest level of industry employment in at least two decades, behind the 132,600 produced in 2008.