As the nonresidential construction markets are starting to show some life, the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Construction Consensus Forecast is starting to look like it was on target. Its projections, released early this year, called for 4.9 percent growth in spending on nonresidential buildings in 2014, with projections for 2015 at 8.0 percent growth.
The AIA Consensus Forecast is computed as an average of the forecasts provided by panelists that submit forecasts for each of the included building categories. Use this interactive chart to explore the forecasts of each member of the consensus group.
What’s interesting is that commercial real estate lending has not followed the increases in spending. AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker wrote, “Banks began dramatically tightening their lending standards for commercial real estate loans in 2007 and have reported only modest easing beginning in 2010. The 2014 second-quarter Federal Reserve Board survey shows some additional flexibility on loans for multifamily structures, but only modest net easing for construction and land development or commercial real estate lending.”
Without a loosening of the credit markets it’s difficult to see construction sustaining its growth into 2015.