South Carolina Construction Starts Decline
- Statewide construction starts and regional architectural billings have decreased sharply during the first half of 2020. If starts and pre-development activities do not increase during the third and fourth quarters, the construction market is likely to experience a marked slowdown in 2021.
- Construction costs overall are expected to decrease as projects have been put on hold and new starts are inadequate to replace the current pipeline. Material pricing is somewhat volatile with availability and prices fluctuating depending on the commodity.
- LCK Construction Tip: South Carolina’s construction market is beginning to lean toward the buyers’ favor as general contractors are eager to secure new projects. Because of the decline in new starts, more subcontractors are bidding work resulting in more competitive pricing.
Construction Starts: Statewide construction starts have decreased in four of six sectors compared to mid-year 2019. While healthcare starts increased in the Columbia and Charleston markets, the value of projects is not enough to replace the larger volumes completed in 2019.
Construction Workforce: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of June 2020 there were 108,300 construction employees in South Carolina, 6,700 more than June 2019. The construction workforce declined by 0.82% in March and 5.78% in April, but rebounded in May with a 4.09% increase, followed by a 1.31% increase in June.
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