Latest Crane Count Reaches All-time High, Phoenix on the Rise

International property and construction consultancy firm Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) has released its latest Crane Index and Quarterly Cost Report. Together, the two documents provide an eye-opening perspective on the North American construction industry in 14 key markets.

With data current to mid-Q1 2023, the latest RLB quarterly cost report shows that the national average increase in construction costs was nearly 1.4 percent over the previous quarter with Boston, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco all experiencing increases over the national average this quarter. Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Washington DC experienced gains were less than the national average.

“There’s an air of economic uncertainty lingering over 2023, especially around oil prices and unresolved bank stress. As compared to last year at this time, things look difficult, but for different reasons,” says Julian Anderson, FRICS, President of RLB North America. “On the bright side, inflation seems to be leaning in the right direction, and other challenges like workforce development are following suit.”

Crane Index notes

  • Cities seeing an increase in cranes include Denver, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, and Toronto
  • Cities holding steady in their crane counts include Boston, Calgary, Portland, and Washington DC
  • Cities with a decrease in cranes include Chicago and New York

Quarterly Cost Report notes

  • The U.S. quarterly national average increase in construction cost is approximately 1.4 percent, compared to 8.11 percent year-over-year
  • The construction unemployment rate is up down slightly to 4.4 percent from 5.0 percent in the same time period last year
  • The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) is 49.3, reporting less than 50 for four consecutive months.

Read the complete QCR report here. The Crane Index is here.

Rider Levett Bucknall is an award-winning international firm known for providing project management, construction cost consulting, and related property and construction advisory services—at all stages of the design and construction process. Rider Levett Bucknall’s North American practice has offices in 21 cities across the North America. With more than 4,000 employees worldwide, Rider Levett Bucknall brings unparalleled value and service to its prestigious group of clients, through its robust experience and high-level expertise. The firm enjoys a professional heritage that spans over 230 years, and it continues to be a global leader in the construction industry throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania.

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