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Industry Updates

Keep Calm and Carry on

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With rising construction costs, some might fear a repeat of the Great Recession of 2008. But although the prices of materials have risen steadily at a more than average rate, RE Journals reports that there may be nothing for builders to fear.

Andy MacGregor, president of Chicago-based ACCEND Construction LLC, views it as merely business as usual. “The escalation we have seen is no different than what people consider an anomaly in other years,” he told RE Journals. “None of this is any scarier than what we have dealt with in the past. I feel like people just like to whine about it.”

The Trump administration’s recent tariffs also did not leave MacGregor that scared, either. “I think it’s more the uncertainty of the tariffs that gets people going,” he explained. “To the extent that there have been higher prices, it has had more of an effect on manufactured goods than raw steel. I haven’t heard a ton about it on the building side, to be honest.”

Although labor costs can be an issue, MacGregor says the Windy City has enjoyed relatively stable costs on the union side. Additionally, in November 2019, RE Journals reports, the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent, which was the lowest in more than four decades.

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