by Michael J. Shapiro | February 12, 2014
The U.S. lodging industry's construction pipeline increased by 10 percent in the number of active projects last year, according to the Lodging Econometrics Winter 2014 United States Lodging Real Estate Trends report. The number of rooms in the pipeline shot up by 12 percent. It was the first year-over-year double-digit increase since before the recession. At the close of the fourth quarter in 2013, there were 793 projects under construction, for a total of 80,740 rooms -- representing a 26 percent year-over-year increase. An additional 1,156 projects were scheduled to begin within the next 12 months, accounting for 141,140 rooms -- a 42 percent year-over-year increase. The 140,083 rooms in the early planning phase represent a 13 percent drop from the previous year, as more projects have begun or are nearly ready to begin construction. The pipeline turnaround is significant, says the report, as the growth is expected to increase steadily; because hotel and lodging portfolio prices are now selling at record highs, hotel companies soon will find it cheaper to build new hotels than to purchase existing properties. A summary of the full report may be found here.