New commercial real estate development, and the ongoing operations of existing CRE buildings in the United States, had a vital impact on the U.S. economy in 2020, supporting 8 million jobs and contributing $1.01 trillion to U.S. GDP, according to a study released last month by the NAIOP Research Foundation.
The study broke out several key measures by sector – and demonstrate the impact of the pandemic:
- Office construction expenditures totaled $38.8 billion in 2020, down 28.5% from 2019.
- Retail construction totaled $11.7 billion in 2020, down 29.5% YOY. This was the fifth straight year of decline.
- Warehouse construction outlays decreased slightly in 2020, down just 0.3% YOY.
- Industrial (manufacturing) construction spending was hard hit, declining 29.5%.
The top five states in 2020, by development impact, were Texas, New York, Florida, California and Illinois.
This year, job growth is expected to improve, and GDP growth will make up some of what it lost in 2020. And NAIOP remains optimistic. “Many factors point to a commercial real estate rebound in 2021,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, president and CEO. “We believe that while the pandemic has accelerated trends already progressing in real estate, we have a bright future.”