Late 2024-Forecast …Slowing Project Cost Increases and Delays

It’s really hard to read the tea leaves lately: election looming,  decent signals of the economy, climate worries, AI here to stay, increasing foreign wars, non-stop on-line hacking, political miscues, interest rates, post-pandemic aftermath….
Slowing Inflation and residual supply chain hiccups are still the norm. Tradesman shortages and demand (although weakening) are still contributing to higher than expected bids being received in our office. While staples such as lumber pricing have softened, energy-rich materials such as the metals, piping, rubber and asphalt roofing have increased.  Windows still take 3-4 months to get. Appliances still are lagging, electrical panels- forget-about-it.  My boots-on-the-ground observation is that design-construction conditions are basically stable for the next 6 months (updating  July 2024).
More mixed signals can be witnessed by the fact contractors are more available and more seeking to pad out their spring schedules.
Additionally, residential construction is forecast to slow as growing concerns about a looming recession, inflation pressure and interest rate increases.  Many banks and  Dodge Construction network put this decrease at roughly -10% during the next year….maybe it pays to wait? But what about the benefit of doing the project now and that utility?
Commercial and Institutional construction is expected to rise about 10-15% due to pent-up demand and related logistical forces, such as “work from home” pretexts begin to shift back to the office, and warehousing and transportation related construction remains high in demand.
“Business-as-usual” has not fully returned to the 2019 baseline it seems to be basically stable in 2024.
“Yeah, sorry, we’ll get to it. Just can’t say when.” is what were often told last year…now we are being shown that contractors’ availability is increasing.

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