This week in construction
Each Monday, we'll let you know what's coming in the week ahead, including important residential and commercial report releases, as well as our own feature articles.
Inside the rise of construction material prices feature — March 21
After years of stagnation, material prices are on the rise. Earlier this month, the Associated Builders and Contractors reported that prices rose 4.8% year-over-year in February — the largest annual increase in more than five years.
In our feature article on Tuesday, March 21, we’ll explore the categories that are seeing the greatest increases, how contractors are dealing with higher costs and what they can expect in the coming year.
Architecture Billings Index — March 22
The American Institute of Architects will release its Architecture Billings Index on Wednesday, March 22. Last month, the AIA reported the index dropped to 49.5 in January, down from the strong showing of 55.9 in December and indicating a contraction in billings.
In last month's report, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said the lower reading in January shouldn't be cause for concern, as the new presidential administration has caused a period of volatility in the index in recent months. Will the ABI rally in Wednesday's report, or will the uncertainty continue to negatively impact industry prospects?
Existing-home sales — March 22
Existing-home sales turned in their best month since February 2007 in January, rising 3.3% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million sales. While the rate was 3.8% higher than a year earlier, continued price growth and inventory tightening could threaten activity in the sector.
On Wednesday, March 22, the National Association of Realtors will issue its existing-home sales report for February, which is expected to offer more details on the effect of those increases as well as the impact of the Trump administration on the housing industry.
Surge in convention center construction feature — March 23
Major metros across the U.S. are beefing up their convention capabilities in order to snag more of that lucrative market. Las Vegas, Orlando, FL, New York, Chicago and Seattle all have plans underway to renovate or expand their existing convention center facilities.
In our feature article on Thursday, March 23, we’ll find out which features and amenities convention developers are focusing on in their projects, as well as how much of a payoff convention centers and their host cities can expect from such a major investment.
New-home sales — March 23
New-home sales have continued their downward trend from the cycle high reached in July, nudging up 3.7% in January from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000 sales but coming in slightly below analyst expectations. Meanwhile, prices continue to climb and for-sale stock is getting tighter. On Thursday, March 23, the Commerce Department will issue its new-home sales figures for February, providing insight into how the spring selling season will play out.