by Michael J. Shapiro | January 21, 2015
U.S. hotel development and construction are surging, according to the December 2014 STR Pipeline Report. The 412,878 rooms under contract, among 3,443 projects, represents a 14.3 percent increase over the previous December, while the rooms already under construction are up by 31.4 percent year-over-year. Among the top 25 markets, New York City leads in both categories, with 27,009 rooms in the pipeline and 13,200 of those under construction. Houston follows in both categories, with 16,473 rooms under contract and 5,134 in the construction phase. "The continued tailwind of a recovering U.S. economy has supported strong revenue-per-available-room growth across the nation," said Jan Freitag, senior VP of strategic development for STR Inc. "As national and regional occupancy has increased, more developers are finding hotel real estate attractive again, and we are seeing a healthy and unabated increase in new development, mostly in the limited-service sectors." Three other markets reported more than 3,000 rooms  under construction: Washington, D.C.; Miami-Hialeah, Fla., and Chicago.