As the World Health Organization officially declares this virus a pandemic, there are many concerns across the globe regarding our well-being. Our personal and professional lives are shifting as we, as a country and as a planet, figure out how best to stay healthy, stop the spread and also continue contributing economically. This is the first crisis in our time of the age of technology which allows many employers to offer work-from-home setups. Only time will tell which initiatives have proven successful in stopping the spread and maintaining progress in our professional lives.
For our industry in particular, which has been experiencing growth amongst a few challenges in the recent years, the coronavirus poses a pretty sizeable threat – material availability. Read more below from Construction Best Practices on how COVID-19 can potentially impact our industry this year.
As reported by GlobeSt.com, which offers commercial real estate news, the coronavirus has made the certainty of construction cost projections rather murky. “The impact of the virus is impossible to predict with certainty, but any prolonged slowdown in Chinese or global economic and manufacturing activity is likely to have significant ramifications for construction costs,” according to the JLL 2020 Construction Outlook, as cited by GlobeSt.com.
The virus may also impact the availability of materials. Because roughly one-fourth to one-third of the construction products that builders use in the United States are sourced from China, a sustained slowdown in Chinese production can lead to material shortages in the United States and rises in material costs, JLL said.
But there may be a silver lining: Reduced construction activity due to virus containment efforts will result in a reduction in demand of materials, offsetting price pressure. However, “Without the ability to accurately forecast the impact of the virus, we have widened our materials price forecast to account for the uncertainty,” JLL added.