Building activity, through its materials- and labor-intense nature, has been and still is an important barometer of the economic cycle. Highly sensitive to the availability of credit, the construction sector along with its market twin, the real estate sector, on certain occasion even ended up being the cycle. The recent economic booms and bust episodes stand as testimony.
Skyscrapers, often a measure of engineering innovation and collective desire to excel, provide a unique measure of economic confidence. They embody perfectly the developers’ expectation about the future. Increasing building height, along the structural challenges it brings, represent a bet on things to come.
Using data on skyscrapers from the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat , I have explored the geographic and time distribution of expected buildings completion above 200m. Each map shows the projected completions (“Count” is the number of buildings expected to be delivered) along with the planned maximum height.
The dramatic building boom in Asia, and in particular in China, is well visible through the expected number of completions across the three selected years. The end of this building activity in 2020 may play an important role in slowing down global growth as early as 2019.
You can view the maps by clicking here.