Report: National Construction Costs See Quarter-to-Quarter Increase

Phoenix – International property and construction consultancy firm Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) has released its new Quarterly Cost Report (QCR) for North America.

With data current to mid-Q2 2021 and featuring construction cost information for 14 U.S. and Canadian markets, the QCR provides a statistical view of the state of the construction industry, detailing indicative construction costs for eight building sectors.

Market Highlights

  • RLB reports that from January 2021 to April 2021, the U.S. national average increase in construction costs was approximately 2.91% (11.64% annualized). This is the largest quarter-to-quarter increase since RLB has reported QCR data (the previous high was 2.75% in April 2004)
  • While the annualized rate is 11.64%, the year-over-year increase is a more “normal” 4.35%
    Boston (3.07%), Chicago (4.67%), New York (3.38%), Phoenix, (4.29%), Portland (3.90%), and Washington DC (3.48%) are the markets with cost increases above the national average during the second quarter
  • Markets seeing construction cost increases below the national average during the second quarter include Denver (1.49%), Honolulu (0.92%), Los Angeles (2.79%), San Francisco (2.15%), and Seattle (1.81%)

Key Fiscal Barometers

  • The U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows a year-over-year increase, and is up 1.70% from the previous quarter
  • The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remains higher than normal, increasing from 4.3% in Q4 2020 to 6.4% in Q1 2021
  • The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) reports its first index above 50 since Q4 2019, with a 55.6 reading in March 2021

Read the complete Rider Levett Bucknall QCR Q2 report here.

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