Jim Haughey is the Chief Economist for Reed Construction Data.

Jim has over thirty years experience as a business economist, including twenty years monitoring the construction market. He has previously worked in government, corporate and consulting roles and has taught at the University of Michigan, Ohio University, Michigan State University and the University of Massachusetts. He has a Ph.D. degree in economics from the University of Michigan.

Construction Industry Forecasts

Notes from Jim Haughey

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Fifty Largest Commercial Markets in 2011
Jim Haughey, RCD Chief Economist
Dec 14, 2010

New York City has by far the most commercial projects in the planning stage, followed by San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington and Boston. The value of commercial projects in the pipeline in the fifty largest markets ranges from $76.6 B in New York City to $1.2 B in Rochester. Commercial includes all nonresidential buildings plus multi family housing. The value of projects in the pipeline comes from the Reed Construction Data file of all US construction projects, except single family. The file is edited to exclude projects that are suspended or cancelled or which have not advanced in the development stage for a long time.

Nationally, the expansion index is 2.23. This is the ratio of the projects in planning that may start in the next year to the value of projects now underway. Obviously, about half of the projects in planning will not start next year. But most of the projects that do start in 2011 are now in the list of projects in planning. The expansion index for every metro area is available at www.reedconstructiondata.com. Full details on every project are also available at the same website.

Most of the major US markets are on this list. But a few major markets did not make the list. This includes Tulsa, Milwaukee, Durham, Raleigh, Houston, Jacksonville, Memphis, Tucson, Nashville, Charleston SC, Hartford, Portland OR, Little Rock, Honolulu, Columbia SC, Toledo, Cape Coral-Ft. Myers and El Paso. The sizable cities near the bottom of the list or not on the list have slim development pipelines generally due to overdevelopment several years ago. It will take an improving economy much longer to spur a commercial construction recovery in these cities.

Commercial Projects in Planning

New York76.6San Jose2.8
San Francisco30.8Cincinnati-Middletown2.8
Los Angeles23.6San Antonio2.6
Washington15.8Salt Lake City2.4
Chicago7.4Kansas City1.9
Buffalo5.4New Orleans1.8
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura4.1Albany1.5
Sacramento3.9Las Vegas1.5
Houston3.2Oklahoma City1.4
Seattle3.1St. Louis1.4
San Diego3.1Virginia Beach1.3

Source: Reed Construction Data

Jim Haughey Post Archive

12/10 - House cuts 2011 federal construction budget
12/08 - Compromise federal tax plan pushes credit cost higher
12/07 - Tax compromise: a good crisis has been wasted
12/03 - Contractors drop 5,000 workers in November
11/30 - Q3 state tax revenue up 3.9% y/y but ability to finance construction still worsening
11/29 - Euro debt crisis flares up and threatens construction recovery
11/23 - Deciding who gets stuck with bad debts is restraining economic recovery.
11/12 - Construction consequences of deficit reduction commission proposal
11/05 - Contractors add 5,000 jobs in October
11/03 - Spending confidence gets boost from election results
10/29 - Subpar GDP growth will continue well into 2011
10/29 - Subpar GDP growth will continue well into 2011
10/26 - More monetary stimulus will bring 2011 GDP boost and future inflation problems
10/19 - China economic growth slowdown will be a drag on US recovery
10/13 - 2011 tax rate uncertainty begins to drag on recovery
10/09 - Demands to stop foreclosures threatens housing and economic recovery
10/08 - Contractors cut 21,000 workers in September
10/07 - Depreciated $US boosts economy but is less favorable for construction
10/06 - Purchase mortgage application jump could boost home starts
09/28 - Small business jobs act: Good idea or a disaster?
09/27 - Summer economic and construction slowdown eases
09/15 - Federal fiscal stimulus to the economy set to be reduced later this year
09/13 - Four threats to construction recovery in 2011-12
09/07 - Contractors add 19,000 jobs in August
08/27 - 1.6% GDP growth overstates economic weakness
08/18 - Building Construction Recovery to Lag in Gulf and Rocky Mountain Regions
08/11 - Economic growth slows delaying construction recovery
08/06 - Contractors layoff 11,000 workers in July
08/05 - Congress set for one small stimulus and possibly another huge one
07/30 - Construction contributes 0.7% of 2.4% 2nd Quarter GDP Gain
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