Finance & DevelopmentDevelopmentSTR: U.S. Hotel Room Construction Down 61,000 From 2020 High

STR: U.S. Hotel Room Construction Down 61,000 From 2020 High

HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee—The number of U.S. hotel rooms in construction is down roughly 61,000 from the country’s all-time high achieved in early 2020, according to December 2021 pipeline data from STR.

The final two phases of the pipeline—construction and final planning—are down by double digits from the same time last year while activity in the planning stage has risen significantly.

U.S. Hotel Construction

December 2021

Percentage change in comparison with December 2020:
In construction: 158,906 rooms (down19.2 percent)
Final Planning: 185,231 rooms (down 20.6 percent)
Planning: 284,502 rooms (up 38.9 percent)

“This past year was the second in a row with far fewer rooms in construction and final planning, but the rise in planning activity could be an indicator that the pandemic’s impact on the pipeline will be different than what we saw during the Great Recession,” said Alison Hoyt, STR’s senior director of consulting. “During the previous recession, construction declines persisted from 2008 through 2010, but with a massive jump in planning today, the construction downturn may not last as long as more rooms advance to later phases of the pipeline.”

As of January 5, 2022, New York City showed more than 15,000 rooms in construction. Only five other markets have more than 4,500 rooms in that 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 had been a front-runner for quite some time in terms of hotel construction, and we anticipate a strong supply increase in the market as we move throughout the new year,” Hoyt said. “While the market still has a ways to go in terms of performance recovery, holiday demand in both November and December helped push performance levels, with the market at one point reporting the highest weekly occupancy level among all STR-defined markets. Moving forward, New York City will be able to build on the recovery that has already taken place once business travel and groups return at a higher level.”