These Are the Top 10 States for Abandoned Construction Projects



Although abandoned construction projects are relatively uncommon, they are something that should be on your radar – especially as they impact your business. Abandoned construction projects can indicate a few things:

  • The condition of the property doesn’t match its completed post-construction value/exposure
  • Part of the project may not have been built to safety code which can put a stop to the rest of the project
  • Budgets and/or time estimates were inaccurate

We set out to find which states had the most abandoned construction projects by looking at the frequency of expired, voided, and canceled permits across each state.

[infogram id=”_/kgQjq1cV4QtLjfOB9sEB” prefix=”KiV” format=”interactive” title=”Top 10 US States for Abandoned Permits”]

Alabama had the most abandoned construction projects with 8.67% of their projects expired. Coming in second, Michigan had 6.18% of their projects abandoned. Third, South Carolina, had 5.68%. Fourth, Missouri, with 3.45%. And fifth, North Carolina, with 2.48% of their projects expired, canceled, or voided.

Below is the complete top ten list:

  1. Alabama
  2. Michigan
  3. South Carolina
  4. Missouri
  5. North Carolina
  6. Utah
  7. Tennessee
  8. Nebraska
  9. North Dakota
  10. Florida


How can carriers avoid the pitfalls that can go along with these abandoned projects?

  • Corroborate that the work reported to be done has been done using documented construction records (building permits)
  • Further scrutinize properties’ exposure when abandoned work is detected
  • Make sure the data you’re using in underwriting accounts for these abandoned projects (note: All BuildFax insights automatically check for this)


Abandoned construction projects pop up for a variety of reasons – it could be a funding issue, a problem with building code compliance, a crippling unexpected hidden cost, or people just changing their minds. But perhaps most important thing is for carriers to be aware of them.



To determine the states with the most abandoned construction projects, BuildFax extracted building permit information from its database of over 23 billion data points of construction records. We looked at the total number of commercial and residential building permits for each state and compared them to the number of expired, voided, or canceled permits for every month in 2016.