Surveying and Mapping Services

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 7,400 surveying and mapping service providers collect data to determine property boundaries and create maps of the Earth’s surface, including the sea floor. The processes of surveying and mapping involve measurement, documentation, and representation of the Earth’s features. Surveying is used for land planning and development, construction, infrastructure planning, real estate transactions, environmental management, navigation, and geographical analysis. Determining the boundaries, elevation, and topography of an area is critical in construction work.

Dependence on Construction and Real Estate Industries and Economic Conditions

Demand for surveying and mapping services is driven primarily by the construction and real estate industries, which are cyclical and affected by changes in economic conditions.

Drones and UAVs

The use of aerial drones and uncrewed or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) is growing as surveyors look for ways to cut costs and operate more efficiently.

Industry size & Structure
Industry Forecast
Surveying and Mapping Services Industry Growth
Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

Recent Developments

May 17, 2024 - Slower Industry Growth
  • After solid growth during the pandemic, weakening construction activity may signal slower demand for surveying and mapping services. The industry posted year-over-year sales growth of 6.2% in 2021 and 14.3% in 2022 before falling to 5.8% in 2023, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc. Surveying and mapping services industry growth is expected to moderate further to about 2.6% in 2024, then grow by about 4.3% per year through 2027, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc.
  • A lack of affordability in the US housing market is prompting a building boom of for-rent homes, according to The Wall Street Journal. Amid high interest rates and home prices, many affluent potential home buyers are priced out of the single-family and townhome markets. In 2023, US builders completed 93,000 for-rent homes - the most ever in a single year and up 39% over 2022, according to John Burns Research and Consulting. There are another 99,000 for-rent homes currently under construction, but the breakneck pace of development is expected to slow as lending standards tighten. However, some industry watchers believe any lull in built-for-rent home demand will be brief as economic conditions make renting a better financial option than buying. As of March 2024, the average monthly mortgage payment was 38% higher than the average monthly apartment rent, according to CBRE.
  • Home builder confidence dropped in May for the first time since November 2023 as high mortgage rates dampened demand for new single-family homes, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Home builder sentiment, as measured by the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), fell six points to 45 in May 2024. Any HMI reading over 50 indicates that more builders see conditions as good than poor. The HMI survey also showed that a quarter of builders have reduced home prices to lure potential buyers off the sidelines, although the average price reduction of 6% remained unchanged for the eleventh consecutive month.
  • North American construction and engineering spending in 2024 is expected to grow by about 5%, down from 7% growth in 2023, according to FMI’s second-quarter 2024 North American Engineering and Construction Outlook. Slower spending for residential and some other private sector construction segments will reduce overall construction and engineering spending. Construction subsectors that are expected to see double-digit growth in 2024 include manufacturing (up 19% in 2024 over 2023), lodging (+14%), public safety (+12%), highway and street (+10), and sewage and waste disposal (+10). Other pockets of steady growth include educational, conservation and development, water supply, and healthcare. High interest rates continue to put downward pressure on residential and commercial projects. Single-family construction spending is forecast to be flat in 2024 after falling 14% in 2023. Spending for multifamily is expected to decline 8% in 2024 after projects in development peaked at 1 million units in mid-2023. With a year-over-year decline of 2%, commercial is the only nonresidential building construction segment projected to post negative spending growth in 2024.
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