Your quarterly pulse on hotel development trends and LE news
U.S. Construction Pipeline Experiences Highs and Lows in the Third Quarter
Analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that in the third quarter of 2021 the total U.S. construction pipeline stands at 4,837 projects/592,259 rooms, down 8% by projects and 10% by rooms year-over-year (YOY). While project numbers have seen a slight increase over second quarter totals, overall, the construction pipeline remains largely muted due to a reduced inflow of new projects in the pipeline as compared to “pre-COVID levels,” and significant hotel openings during the first half of the year which exited the pipeline. The prolonged effects of the pandemic, above average inflation, rising interest rates, and material shortages and price increases have been and will continue to be key factors in decision-making for developers through the end of the year.
However, many developers really do have a long-term positive outlook on hotel development as projects in the early planning stage are up considerably, with 1,978 projects/239,831 rooms, a 27% increase by projects, and 25% by rooms YOY and reaching a cyclical peak this quarter. Conversely, projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are down 14% by projects and 15% by rooms YOY, with 1,824 projects/210,189 rooms at the end of the third quarter. Projects under construction were also down in Q3, ending the quarter at 1,035 projects/142,239 rooms. This is largely due to projects that have completed construction and have opened. Presently, inflation and the increasing cost and sourcing of labor and materials, combined with supply chain shortages and delays, continue to be a major variable for hotel development. In response, developers are reworking budgets, revising plans to minimize costs, and adjusting construction start and project opening dates to endure the challenges of a recovering industry.
Though the path to full recovery may be longer than originally expected, two main steppingstones aiding in the recovery have been the recent rise in hotel stock values as well as increases in lending activity. Rebounding hotel stocks and better-than-expected hotel and travel demand throughout the summer season has renewed developer sentiment.
Renovation and conversion pipeline activity remains steady at the end of Q3 ‘21, with conversion projects hitting a cyclical peak, and ending the quarter at 752 projects/79,024 rooms. Combined, renovation and conversion activity accounts for 1,253 projects and 176,305 rooms.
Through the third quarter of 2021, the U.S. opened 665 new hotels with 85,306 rooms with another 221 projects/23,026 rooms anticipated to open by the end of the year, totaling 886 projects/108,332 rooms for 2021. Our research analysts expect an increase in new hotel openings in 2022, with 970 projects accounting for 110,123 rooms forecast to open in 2022 and another 961 projects/111,249 rooms anticipated to open in 2023.
Marriott Leads with the Largest U.S. Hotel Construction Pipeline
According to the third quarter report by analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE), the franchise companies leading the U.S. construction pipeline with the greatest number of new construction projects are Marriott International with 1,286 projects/166,174 rooms, Hilton Worldwide with 1,223 projects/139,742 rooms, and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 769 projects/77,558 rooms. The construction pipelines for these three franchise companies comprise an impressive 68% of the total construction pipeline projects.
The leading brands by project count in the construction pipeline for each of these three companies are Hilton’s Home2 Suites by Hilton with 402 projects/41,846 rooms, IHG’s Holiday Inn Express with 301 projects/28,852 rooms, and Marriott’s Fairfield Inn with 246 projects/23,653 rooms. These three mid-market brands alone account for 20% of the projects in the total construction pipeline.
Other significant brands in the pipeline for these franchises include Hilton’s Hampton by Hilton, reaching a cyclical peak, with 271 projects/28,311 rooms and Tru by Hilton with 224 projects/21,518 rooms; Marriott’s TownePlace Suites with 204 projects/19,5693 rooms and Residence Inn with 203 projects/25,132 rooms; IHG’s Avid Hotel with 152 projects/13,255 rooms and Staybridge Suites with 122 projects/12,564 rooms.
In the third quarter alone, Marriott opened 60 new hotels/7,882 rooms accounting for 30% of all new hotel rooms that opened in the U.S. Hilton opened 45 new hotels/4,923 rooms accounting for 19% of newly opened rooms and IHG opened 25 new hotels in Q3/2,459 rooms accounting for 9% of rooms. Year-to-date, through the end of the third quarter in 2021, Marriott has opened 212 new hotels/28,298 rooms accounting for 32% of new hotels and 33% of new rooms; Hilton has opened 169 new hotels/21,786 rooms, accounting for 25% of new hotels and 26% of newly opened rooms, and IHG opened 98 new hotels/9,828 rooms, accounting for 15% of new hotels and 12% of rooms opened in the U.S.
The LE forecast for new hotel openings in 2021 anticipates that Marriott will open 243 projects/32,944 rooms by year-end. Hilton is expected to open a total of 207 projects/26,056 rooms in 2021, and IHG is on track to open 145 projects/14,451 rooms. In 2022, LE forecasts Marriott will open 245 new hotels/31,470 rooms, IHG will open 204 new hotels/20,737 rooms, and Hilton is expected to open 192 new hotels/22,090 rooms.
Dallas Tops the U.S. Hotel Construction Pipeline
In the third quarter of 2021, analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that the top five markets with the largest total hotel construction pipelines by projects are: Dallas with 147 projects/17,711 rooms, Atlanta with 139 projects/18,659 rooms, Los Angeles with 133 projects/22,145 rooms, New York City with 130 projects/22,417 rooms, and Houston, with 90 projects/9,225 rooms. These top five markets account for 13% of the projects and 15% of rooms in the total U.S. pipeline.
The top 25 U.S. markets account for 33% of all pipeline projects and 37% of all rooms in the U.S. hotel construction pipeline. There are currently nine markets in the United States that have 20 or more projects under construction in their pipelines. Markets with the greatest number of projects already in the ground are New York with 95 projects/16,516 rooms, Atlanta with 33 projects/5,311 rooms, Dallas with 31 projects/4,399 rooms, Los Angeles with 30 projects/4,954 rooms, and Austin with 28 projects/3,577 rooms. Atlanta has the greatest number of projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months, with 54 projects/7,529 rooms. Dallas follows with 48 projects/5,643 rooms, and then Los Angeles with 47 projects/7,343 rooms, Phoenix with 44 projects/4,834 rooms, and Houston with 42 projects/3,748 rooms. The top five markets with the greatest number of projects in the early planning stage at the end of the third quarter are Dallas with 68 projects/7,669 rooms, Los Angeles with 56 projects/9,848 rooms, Atlanta with 52 projects/5,819, Orlando with 41 projects/7,754 rooms, and Washington D.C. with 40 projects/7,310 rooms.
The increased demand for building materials and shortages in supply, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to higher prices and continues to be major hurdles for contractors, developers, and investors. Nevertheless, in the third quarter, Dallas has the highest number of new projects announced into the pipeline with 18 projects/1,756 rooms. Atlanta follows with 17 projects/1,777 rooms, Phoenix with 10 projects/1,819 rooms, and then Houston with 9 projects/946 rooms.
The renovation and conversion pipeline shows no sign of decline. Presently, there are 1,253 hotels/176,305 rooms under renovation or conversion across the U.S., and twenty-four of the top 50 markets in the U.S. currently have 10 or more hotels undergoing renovation or conversion activity at the end of Q3‘21.
In the first three quarters of 2021, the U.S. opened 665 new hotels with 85,306 rooms. The markets with the highest number of new openings throughout the first three quarters are New York City with 21 hotels/3,554 rooms, Atlanta with 21 hotels/2,925 rooms, Orlando with 19 hotels/2,908 rooms, Houston with 16 hotels/2,166 rooms and Nashville with 16 hotels/2,116 rooms. In Q3, alone, the top 50 markets in the U.S. saw 98 hotels /15,454 rooms open. The U.S. had 189 hotels/25,995 rooms total open in the third quarter.
In 2021, New York City is forecasted to open 51 new hotels and 7,074 rooms, Atlanta follows with 25 hotels/3,499 rooms, then Nashville with 23 hotels/3,011 rooms, Houston with 23 hotels/2,787 rooms, and Orlando with 21 hotels/3,393 rooms. U.S. supply growth is forecasted to be 2.0% in 2021 and is expected to remain the same into 2022.