Nonresidential building activity is expected to increase by 5.8 percent in 2014, according to the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast. A stabilizing economy signals a significant improvement in the construction industry, which has been recovering slowly yet steadily over the last two years, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, said in a statement.
“At a more granular level,” he added, “the surging housing market, growing commercial property values, and declining office and retail vacancies are all contributing to what is expected to amount to a much greater spending on nonresidential building projects.”
Despite the positive outlook, the design and construction industry still faces a few concerns. “Rising construction costs, a shortage of skilled labor, and bank credit standards that have not eased up enough to keep pace with the strong demand for construction financing are all serious challenges to sustained growth in the coming years,” Baker said.