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RODEO, CA - AUGUST 19: A construction worker works on the framing of a new home August 19, 2003 in Rodeo, California. New home construction jumped in July to its highest level in 17 years as the hot housing market showed no signs of slowing despite the fact that mortgage rates have risen more than a percentage point over the same period. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Have you ever wondered what cities spend the most on construction? In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s housing boom has surged to new heights thanks to a combination of factors that homebuyers haven’t experienced since before the housing bubble more than a dozen years ago. To begin with, the fall of 2020 saw the nation’s housing supply hit one of its lowest levels on record since 1963. The severe lack of housing combined with increased demand pushed new home construction to highs not seen in the past 15 years.

Additionally, supply chain disruptions from COVID-19 lockdowns caused lumber prices to rise more than 500% in a single year. Which has helped push total residential construction spending to its own record high of more than $760 billion (seasonally adjusted annual rate).

 

 

Residential construction is booming nationally, but surprisingly just seven states account for more than half the value of all building permits approved in 2020. Texas led the way with about $43 billion in building permit value last year, followed by Florida ($37 billion), California ($25 billion), North Carolina ($16 billion), and Arizona ($14 billion). Georgia and Colorado were the only other states to clear the $10 billion threshold.

The fact that both Texas and Florida outspent California—demonstrates the fact that housing growth is shifting to lower-cost destinations in the South.

 

 

The flood of money into new housing has been a boom for construction companies across the country. However, a combination of spending and labor force differences means there has been far more construction activity per worker in certain parts of the country. Several Southeastern and Mountain states reported roughly two times as much new residential spending per construction worker compared to the national average of $51,738 in 2020.

New residential spending in South Carolina and Arizona topped $100,000 per worker, while Tennessee, North Carolina, Idaho, and Florida came in around $90,000. Meanwhile, spending was lowest per worker in and around the Mid-Atlantic Region, where West Virginia claimed just $14,367 and Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania each reported less than $24,000 per construction worker.

 

To rank individual metropolitan areas on their annual new residential construction spending per construction worker, researchers at Construction Coverage divided the value of building permits authorized in 2020, taken from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Building Permits Survey, by the number of construction workers employed there, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Researchers also included statistics on construction employment and wages in each location.

Here are the large cities that spend the most on new home construction per construction worker: Raleigh did top Charlotte on this list but we still made the top 5!

 

Metro

Rank

New residential construction spending per construction worker

New residential construction spending

Total construction workers

Relative concentration of construction workers

Median annual wage for construction workers

Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX

1

$160,551

$7,147,718,000

44,520

-1%

$53,050

Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN

2

$150,372

$5,183,315,000

34,470

-16%

$52,660

Raleigh-Cary, NC

3

$122,805

$3,460,650,000

28,180

+6%

$54,810

Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ

4

$104,360

$10,815,836,000

103,640

+15%

$59,560

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

5

$101,366

$5,633,895,000

55,580

+7%

$52,650

Jacksonville, FL

6

$96,043

$3,262,575,000

33,970

+16%

$48,930

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

7

$94,078

$5,478,188,000

58,230

+14%

$50,860

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

8

$90,848

$13,053,058,000

143,680

-6%

$52,740

Tucson, AZ

9

$89,500

$1,394,415,000

15,580

-1%

$52,320

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

10

$88,532

$5,299,528,000

59,860

+8%

$50,020

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA

11

$88,236

$7,156,853,000

81,110

-28%

$58,280

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

12

$77,508

$4,962,093,000

64,020

-19%

$82,140

San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

13

$73,577

$3,123,325,000

42,450

-1%

$51,840

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

14

$72,476

$12,702,945,000

175,270

+38%

$58,510

Columbus, OH

15

$69,610

$2,226,124,000

31,980

-27%

$64,190

United States

$51,738

$307,209,904,000

5,937,830

N/A

$48,610

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Construction Coverage’s website: https://constructioncoverage.com/research/cities-spending-most-on-construction-per-construction-worker-2021