Commercial Construction Expecting an Even Stronger 2015

Leading indicators suggest that 2015 will be prosperous for American commercial construction in general, and it should be a healthy year for Houston construction as well. Indeed, since 2015 began, many experts have been making rosy predictions for every Houston paving contractor, Houston industrial painting specialist, and every other regional construction professional as well.

To start with, in early 2015, Dodge Data & Analytics ― a company that supplies and analyzes information that pertains to commercial construction ― produced an auspicious forecast for the year to come. Specifically, this firm predicted that the construction of office buildings would go up by about 15 percent in 2015. Dodge Data & Analytics also forecast a 9 percent rise in new U.S. construction projects overall; in 2014, the year-to-year increase measured only 5 percent. Given that American commercial construction was on an upswing in late 2014, the 2015 prediction looks especially promising. That estimate is partly based on the fact that a number of sectors are poised to flourish throughout the year; hospitality and finance are among them.

What’s more, according to a survey conducted by the magazine Construction Equipment, nearly 50 percent of contractors and other construction professionals believe that they will have more commercial construction projects in 2015 than they did in 2014, especially when it comes to commercial and institutional buildings as opposed to residential developments. Many others in the business are taking a wait-and-see approach yet remaining cautiously optimistic about their prospects.

Now, in recent months, Houston has experienced a surge in new construction. Despite that good news, the city’s construction professionals need to be wary of the price of oil, which is currently dropping. Obviously, oil is a cornerstone of Houston’s economy. There is no valid reason to assume, though, that Houston commercial construction will come to a sudden standstill. Rather, the falling cost of oil should merely lead to a period during which some area companies will delay the start of new construction.

In the meantime, virtually all of the city’s major construction projects that have already broken ground should continue unabated. Not to mention, the many organizations in and around Houston that benefit from lower oil costs will be more likely to start new construction. For instance, the region’s petrochemical companies are typically more inclined to create new facilities whenever oil prices are relatively low. On top of that, energy prices are cyclical, and new oil-related construction projects should become plentiful as soon as the cost of this commodity begins to increase.

The risk management and insurance company Aon is another group that is projecting that Houston construction will be especially strong in 2015. Aon actually foresees a boom that will last through 2019. The basis for this firm’s optimism is that the city is experiencing strong job growth, and additional jobs are likely to appear at a robust rate for several more years. Naturally, a thriving job market creates a chain reaction: It brings many new residents to the city, which means that many new homes must be built. It also requires many companies to expand their facilities and to erect entirely new buildings.

Finally, there is one particular sector that may soon hire large numbers of construction pros, and that is the healthcare industry. The far-reaching effects of the 2010 Affordable Care Act promise to reshape the American medical field, and one of these consequences is that many people will seek care from smaller clinics rather than the large hospitals that are common in metropolitan areas. Whether those clinics come in the form of Houston metal buildings or more elaborate structures, they should keep the city’s construction business busy for many years.

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KCS Construction Services is a general contractor focused on commercial and industrial construction in the Houston area.

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