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Construction costs ‘problematic, although less so than in previous years’: RLB

Washington Construction News staff writer

International property and construction consultancy firm Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) has released its latest Quarterly Cost Report, providing an eye-opening perspective on the North American construction industry in 14 key markets.

The latest RLB quarterly cost report, with data current to mid-Q2 2024, shows that the national average increase in construction costs was 1.12 percent over the previous quarter. Boston, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, and Washington DC experienced increases over the national average this quarter. Denver, Las Vegas, New York, Phoenix, and Seattle experienced gains that were less than the national average.

“The construction industry continues to experience strong demand, but uncertainty is being fueled by high interest rates and increasing labor costs for the rest of 2024. The approaching presidential election and potential policy adjustments are also contributing to this uncertainty,” says Paul Brussow, President of RLB North America. “Nevertheless, overall growth in the construction sector is expected to remain positive this year.”

Quarterly Cost Report notes:

  • During Q2 2024, the U.S. national average increase in construction cost is approximately 1.12 percent; compared to 1.31 percent in the first quarter.
  • Year-over-year, the U.S. national average increase in construction costs is approximately 5.41 percent; compared to 5.85 percent YOY in the first quarter.
  • The construction unemployment rate is down slightly to 5.4 percent; down from 5.6 percent in the same period last year\
  • The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) is 42.4; a decrease of nearly 6 points over the previous month.

Read the complete QCR report here.

Mark Buckshon
Mark Buckshonhttps://washingtonconstructionnews.com
Mark Buckshon is the publisher and interim editor of Washington Construction News. He is also president of the Construction News and Report Group of Companies. He combines a journalism and business background, and has published construction trade publications for more than 30 years, after an earlier career in journalism, which culminated when he lived through the transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe in 1978-80 as a sub-editor for the Bulawayo Chronicle and a correspondent for a Canadian news service.

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