E. Construction

1st Quarter 2021 Report

Download Construction Data Tables (spreadsheet)

The indicators of Hawaii’s construction industry were mixed in the fourth quarter of 2020. Private building authorizations and construction jobs decreased, however, government contracts awarded and state government CIP expenditures increased in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the number of jobs in the construction sector decreased 1.9 percent or 700 jobs compared with the same quarter of 2019. In 2020, the construction sector added 100 jobs or 0.3 percent (Table A-7) from the previous year. Before the previous recession, specifically the period of 2002 through 2007, construction job growth averaged 8.0 percent per year. In the fourth quarter of 2007, the average number of construction jobs reached a peak of 40,550 jobs, and then declined as the economy entered a recession. From the second quarter of 2008 until the second quarter of 2011 quarter-over-quarter construction job growth was negative in all quarters.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, private building authorizations in the state decreased $65.4 million or 7.7 percent, compared with the fourth quarter of 2019 (Table E-8). In 2020, private building authorizations in the state decreased $113.0 million or 3.5 percent compared with the previous year.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, private building authorizations in Honolulu decreased $112.6 million or 20.2 percent, compared with the fourth quarter of 2019 (Table E-8). In 2020, private building authorizations in Honolulu decreased $246.6 million or 12.0 percent, compared with the previous year.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, private building authorizations in Hawaii County increased $74.8 million or 57.4 percent, compared with the fourth quarter of 2019 (Table E-8). In 2020, private building authorizations in Hawaii County increased $118.8 million or 21.5 percent, compared with the previous year.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, private building authorizations in Maui decreased $11.7 million or 8.8 percent, compared with the fourth quarter of 2019 (Table E-8). In 2020, private building authorizations in Maui decreased $11.4 million or 2.4 percent compared with the previous year.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, private building authorizations (residential only) in Kauai County decreased $15.9 million or 49.0 percent, compared with the fourth quarter of 2019 (Table E-8). In 2020, private building authorizations in Kauai County increased $26.2 million or 21.3 percent compared with 2019.

Government contracts awarded increased $746.4 million or 521.3 percent, from $143.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 to $889.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 (Table E-1). In 2020, government contracts awarded increased $208.1 million or 13.2 percent, from $1,572.0 million in 2019 to $1,780.1 million in 2020. In January 2020, the U.S. Navy awarded a 5-year contract of a $990 million awarded to 7 firms, 5 of which were Hawaii firms. No per-firm awards were specified. State government CIP expenditures increased $298.2 million or 100.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared with the same quarter of 2019. In 2020, state government CIP expenditures increased $22.9 million or 1.6 percent from the previous year (Table E-2).

The Honolulu Construction Cost Index increased 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter of 2019 for Single Family Residence (Table E-6) and 2.2 percent for High-Rise Building (Table E-7). Comparing 2019 to 2020, the index for Single Family Residence increased 2.5 percent and 1.7 percent for High-Rise Building.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, Honolulu’s median price for single family resales was $870,000, up $70,000 or 8.7 percent over the same quarter of 2019 (Table E-11). The median price for condominium units was $440,000, up $12,000 or 2.8 percent over the same quarter of 2019 (Table E-12). In the fourth quarter of 2020, the number of single-family unit resales increased 13.0 percent, and the number of condominium unit resales increased 5.0 percent, compared with the fourth quarter of 2019 (Tables E-13 and E-14). In 2020, the number of single-family unit resales increased 2.3 percent, and condominium unit resales declined 13.0 percent compared with the previous year.

In 2020, Maui County’s single-family unit resales median price was $795,575 and condominium unit resales median price was $570,000 (Tables E-17 and E-18).