2020 was a hard year, and the construction industry was no exception. After a tumultuous year, many businesses will be looking forward to the next to prepare for the year ahead. Discover the construction industry trends to be aware of as you look forward to 2021 and how your business can navigate the coming months.
The Construction Industry's Outlook for 2021
Slow Industry Growth in the New Year
Look for a slow recovery from 2020's economic issues next year. After a 14% drop in new starts in 2020, the Chief Economist of Dodge Data & Analytics expects 4% of that to be regained in 2021.
Equipment World broke down Dodge Data & Analytic's expectations by segment:
- Single-family - 6% increase in starts, with a 7% increase in value.
- Multi-family - 2% drop in starts, and a 1% drop in value.
- Commercial - 5% increase in value.
New Single-Family Housing Trends
2021 looks strong for single-family housing, thanks in part to low mortgage rates. Total residential starts are expected to rise by 6% in 2021.
Furthermore, the pandemic has driven new trends in single-family construction. Expect to see more buyers looking for features like home offices and appealing outdoor space.
Slower Progress for Commercial
Compared to single-family, commercial construction may have a slower recovery. Dodge Data & Analytics anticipates a 5% increase in value compared to 7% for single-family.
In the commercial segment, warehouse and office space construction are expected to be popular in the new year. On the other hand, businesses and hotels that are still feeling the impact of the pandemic can be expected to have less interest in new construction.
New Uses of Technology on the Job Site
2020 saw many construction companies implementing innovative new technologies to foster better communication and automate certain processes. In 2021, look for new project management tools, and increased use of drones and robotics.
Some contractors have even begun using augmented reality on the job site to improve communication and help clients understand a space.
Focus on Workforce Development
Construction companies face a shortage of workers with the skills needed for today's landscape. Deloitte expects engineering and construction companies to seek out creative ways to address this issue in 2021, such as in-house training programs or using more external talent.
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