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IPFS News Link • Economy - Economics USA

Death of the construction crane: Skyscraper-building equipment touted as sign of thriving economy...


Construction cranes are disappearing from the skylines of major US cities, in another sign of the depressed commercial real estate market and dearth of new construction.

New York and Chicago have been the hardest hit, with the number of cranes in each city down 69 percent since February of 2020, just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according data reported by Bloomberg

The enduring popularity of remote work and higher borrowing costs have both put a damper on office construction projects, with several major projects put on hold until conditions turn more favorable.

The overall crane count decreased 10 percent last year from February to August in the 14 US and Canadian cities surveyed by construction-advisory company Rider Levett Bucknall.

'As interest rate continue to rise, private-sector construction is showing signs of slowing down,' the firm said in its latest biannual report, issued in October.

The office market has been hit particularly hard, with property prices falling 22 percent in January from one year earlier, according to real estate analytics firm Green Street. 

The depressed commercial property market has hit developers, construction firms, and the companies that serve office workers in central business districts.

It has also sent shockwaves through the financial sector, hitting some regional banks particularly hard.

New York Community Bancorp stock plunged to near a 27-year low this month, after the lender posted unexpected commercial real estate loan losses and slashed its dividend.