New York City is in the midst of its second and most robust building boom of the 21st century, experiencing continued growth in residential development, as well as a significant expansion in public capital investment. Record spending was especially boosted by the ongoing construction of massive non-residential buildings throughout the five boroughs.
The New York Building Congress forecasts $61.5 billion in New York City construction spending in 2018. This would represent a 25 percent increase from 2017, when construction spending reached $49.3 billion, making it the highest total (in actual dollars) in New York City history. It would also rank first after adjusting for inflation since at least 1995. The Building Congress expects this level of spending to remain relatively consistent, with $59.3 billion in construction spending projected in 2019, followed by $56.4 billion in 2020. FLOORSPACE The Building Congress forecasts 73.7 million gross square feet of floorspace will be built in 2018, the largest amount since at least 1995 and a 24 percent increase from 2017 when 59.3 million gross square feet of floorspace was built. An estimated 66.7 million and 59.8 million gross square feet will be constructed in 2019 and 2020 respectively, both well exceeding the previous decade average of 41.7 million gross square feet. EMPLOYMENT New York City construction employment is poised to increase for the seventh consecutive year and surpass 150,000 jobs for the second year in a row. After topping 150,000 jobs for the first time in 2017, the Building Congress anticipates construction employment to increase by 6,800 to just under 158,000 jobs throughout the five boroughs in 2018. The Building Congress forecasts employment to dip in 2019 – to 145,600 jobs – before leveling out to 147,700 jobs in 2020, which is seven percent more jobs than the average for the last five years. NON-RESIDENTIAL Non-residential construction spending, which includes office space, institutional development, government buildings, sports/ entertainment venues, and hotels, is expected to reach $39 billion in 2018, up from $23.5 billion a year ago. The Building Congress forecasts construction spending in the non-residential sector to drop to $30.4 billion in 2019 and $23.4 billion in 2020. Non-residential construction is forecasted to add an additional 39 million gross square feet in 2018 – a record high – followed by 30.4 million gross square feet in 2019 and 23.4 million gross square feet in 2020. RESIDENTIAL The Building Congress anticipates $14 billion in residential construction spending this year, up from $13.2 billion in 2017. Residential spending, which includes spending on new construction, as well as alterations and renovations to existing buildings, is projected to reach $15 billion in 2019 and $10.6 billion in 2020. The amount of new housing produced is forecasted to reach 60,000 units over the next three years, averaging 20,000 units in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Though the forecast is down from 27,800 in 2017, it is above the average from the previous decade. Residential construction is forecasted to add an additional 34.6 million gross square feet in 2018, increasing to 36.2 million gross square feet in 2019 and 36.4 million gross square feet in 2020.
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