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Linesight Forecasts Momentum in U.S. Life Sciences and Data Center Construction Markets; Continued Supply Chain Disruptions Due to COVID-19 

NEW YORK–()–Linesight, a global construction consultancy firm, today announced the latest update to its Knowledge Center, a construction industry resource with key data, trends, indices and analyses across multiple regions. This comprehensive view of the industry’s current challenges and outlook features expert insights in major markets including commercial, retail, life sciences and data centers.

“We are excited to release the September 2020 edition of our Knowledge Center for the U.S. providing the latest statistics and insights into construction activity across multiple regions and sectors,” said Patrick Ryan, Linesight’s Executive Vice President. “2020 continues to be a challenging year for many sectors however construction spending for the first half of the year was up 5% on 2019, and although some sectors, such as commercial and hospitality, have been hit hard by the pandemic-induced economic shock, others, such as life sciences and data centers, are experiencing healthy growth. It remains to be seen what the more medium to long-term impact will be, but the pace of recovery is dependent on the successful suppression of the virus to avoid additional waves and positive market sentiment as we look into 2021.”

Highlights from the latest U.S. edition of the Knowledge Center include:

  • During the first six months of 2020, total construction spending (both private and public) amounted to $667.9 billion, an increase of 5 percent on the $636 billion for the same period in 2019.
  • Northeast: The New York labor market is down 6 percent year-on-year. Residential completions are down 5 percent while the non-residential segment is projected to be down at least 9 percent, and commercial and manufacturing is down 8 percent. Short-term effects are starting to be realized, including a spike in unemployment to 11.1% and supply chain disruptions. Commercial projects in the tristate area have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, and recently published leasing reports indicate a 50% decline in leasing activity. The associated decline in construction activity will drive down escalation, but there will be upward pressure on construction costs relating to the impacts of COVID-19, which are still being realized.
  • South Central: Due to the continued movement of people into major metro areas in this region, the residential sector remains resilient and is expected to continue steadily for 2020. There is currently over three million square feet of unused commercial real estate in Dallas alone making the commercial market stagnant, with no clear indication as to when it will improve. While some companies have continued to proceed with business-critical projects large infrastructure projects that were due to start are now delayed or being reassessed.
  • Southeast/Mid-Atlantic: As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the outlook for commercial and retail projects is expected to worsen. Existing life sciences and data center presences continue to fuel demand for these two sectors in the region. This means that new spaces need to be built and existing projects completed to service this demand. The outlook for the remainder of 2020 appears positive, with a steady performance expected. The Federal Government is providing large incentives to bio-tech companies of all sizes that can help with manufacturing effort. North Carolina, in particular, is seeing a lot of activity in this regard.
  • Midwest: The region experienced an overall reduction in new construction starts since the beginning of the year, recording a 14 percent decline in the first six months of 2020. This trend is expected to continue through year end, with a major slowdown in new residential and commercial starts anticipated, as the full impact of COVID and the potential onset of a recession will severely curtail the availability of finance.
  • West: Construction projects in California, Washington and the Pacific Northwest have been met with some hard stops, while projects throughout the Southwest and Western regions are continuing to move forward. Hyperscale data center builds are seen to be ramping up their construction planning, with the increased demand stimulated by the virus outbreak.

For in-depth analysis and data in key construction markets, please see the latest update to the Knowledge Center at https://www.linesight.com/en-gb/us/knowledge-center/.

About Linesight

Linesight is a multinational construction consultancy firm with over 45 years’ experience, providing cost, program, project and general consultancy services to the construction industry. Linesight works with Tier One clients across a multitude of sectors including Data Centers, Life Sciences, Commercial, Residential, High-Tech Industrial, Hospitality, Healthcare and Retail. Linesight’s specialist project teams, each with specific skills and experience, provide faster project delivery, greater cost efficiency and maximum value for money for their clients. For further information, please visit http://www.linesight.com.

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