US hotel construction ends year down 61,000 rooms from peak

The number of hotel rooms under construction in the United States is down about 61,000 from the country’s record high in early 2020, according to December 2021 pipeline data from STR.

The last two phases of the pipeline, construction and final planning, are down double digits from the same period last year, while activity in the planning stage has increased significantly.

December 2021 (percentage change from December 2020):

  • Under construction: 158,906 rooms (-19.2%)
  • Final schedule: 185,231 rooms (-20.6%)
  • Planning: 284,502 rooms (+38.9%)

“This past year was the second in a row with significantly fewer pieces in construction and final planning, but the increase in planning activity could be an indicator that the impact of the pandemic on the pipeline will be different from what we saw during the Great Recession,” said Alison Hoyt, senior consulting director at STR. “During the previous recession, the decline in construction persisted from 2008 to 2010, but with a massive increase in planning today, the slowdown in construction may not last as more chambers move into later phases of the pipeline.”

As of January 5, 2022, New York City had over 15,000 rooms under construction. Only five other markets have more than 4,500 rooms in this final phase of the pipeline.

1. New York (15,069 rooms)
2. Las Vegas (5,368 rooms)
3. Atlanta (5,078 rooms)
4. Dallas (4,764 rooms)
5. Nashville (4,708 rooms)
6. Los Angeles (4,620 rooms)

“New York City has been at the forefront for some time in terms of hotel construction, and we anticipate a large increase in supply to the market in the new year,” Hoyt said. “While the market still has some way to go in terms of performance recovery, holiday demand in November and December helped drive performance levels higher, with the market at one point showing the weekly occupancy level the highest among all markets defined by STR. Going forward, New York City can build on the recovery that has already taken place once business travel and groups return to a higher level.

About STR

STR provides premium benchmarking data, analysis and market insights for the global hospitality industry. Founded in 1985, STR operates in 15 countries with North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, international headquarters in London, and Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore. STR was acquired in October 2019 by CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP), the leading provider of online commercial real estate information, analysis and marketplaces. For more information, please visit str.com and costargroup.com.

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