General Contractor Responsible for All Employees’ Wages in California and Now Maryland

August 2, 2018

Responsibility for all employees’ wages falls onto the general contractor in California and now in Maryland, paving the way for a new system of paying workers in these two states. The state law in California has been active since Jan. 1, and Maryland will begin to practice this law in October, but with a few more stipulations.

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Pattern Links High-Rise Construction to Economic Health

July 31, 2018

As the economy fluctuates, so does the construction of high-rises in major metro areas. According to Dodge Data & Analytics, a pattern of high-rise construction, both residential and nonresidential, has emerged over the past decade, showing a direct link between economic health and high-rise construction.

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Office Construction to See Slowdown in 2019

July 30, 2018

A slowdown in office construction may be on the horizon. David Bitner, head of Americas capital markets research with Cushman & Wakefield, said in National Real Estate Investor that rising construction costs and zoning issues are among the reasons developers could pull back.

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Sales of New Single-Family Homes Drops in June

After seeing a surge in demand and sales the past few months, the sales of newly built, single-family homes fell during the month of June by 5.3%, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Uncertainty in the U.S. market likely caused this downturn, especially with the promise of tariffs on imported Chinese steel and current lumber tariffs. When the prices of basic goods remain to be determined, a sense of caution washes over homebuyers, which then trickles down to builders. “Not only are consumers and builders concerned about the current lumber tariffs, but also the next round of proposed tariffs on a number of goods and services,” said Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from LaPlace, Louisiana, in a recent NAHB article. June’s sales are the lowest monthly reading since October 2017, but sales are still up as a whole for the first half of 2018, by 6.9%. The median sales price for a home in June was $302,100. —Christie Citranglo, editorial associate
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Struggling Housing Starts Outweigh Growing Demand

July 20, 2018

Despite the growing demand for single-family housing, the U.S. construction industry is finding it difficult to keep up due to the continuously increasing material costs. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the latest data from HUD and the Commerce Department, these struggles were reflected in the total housing starts for June when overall home construction plummeted to a nine-month low.

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UK Councils Not Following 30-Day Payment Rule

July 18, 2018

Local authorities in the United Kingdom, known as councils, are facing backlash from construction associations after freedom of information (FOI) requests revealed about 90% of councils were not enforcing construction firms to pay supply chains within 30 days as required by legislation.

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Australian Government Going After Late Payers

July 17, 2018

The Australian government is looking to combat late payments in the construction industry. The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) launched a campaign July 17 to help subcontractors secure payment.

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Construction Material Prices ‘Rising Rapidly’

July 13, 2018

Economic progress is dwindling in the eyes of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) economists who reported a nearly 10% gain in 2018 construction material prices in June over last year. ABC noted a 9.6% increase in prices compared to 2017, with a 9.8% gain in nonresidential construction, during its analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released July 11.

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Dodge Momentum Index Increases in June

July 11, 2018

The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) is inching forward after a revised May reading. According to Dodge Data & Analytics, the index increased less than one percent to 165.5 from May’s 164.2. The index reports nonresidential building projects at the initial planning stage. This has been shown as a leading indicator for construction spending over the next 12-month period.

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Brexit Affecting Construction Firms

July 9, 2018

With less than nine months until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, many are already feeling the effect of Brexit. According to a recent report from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), a third of construction employers are being impacted by the U.K.’s referendum to exit the EU, which is up 9% from just a year ago.

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