Commercial, multifamily construction starts up on the year

By |  July 27, 2022
Although dealers are trying to ramp up their inventory, they must aim to strike the right balance so they aren’t sitting on too much equipment and parts next year and beyond. Photo: P&Q Staff

Warehouses, among other things, make up commercial and multifamily construction starts for Dodge Construction Network. Photo: P&Q Staff

The value of commercial and multifamily construction starts in the top 20 metropolitan areas of the U.S. was up 24 percent for the first six months of the year versus last year’s first half, Dodge Construction Network reports.

According to Dodge, commercial and multifamily starts are comprised of office buildings, stores, hotels, warehouses, commercial garages and multifamily housing.

Nationally, commercial and multifamily construction starts were up 18 percent through six months of 2022. Dodge expects growth to slow in the second half of the year, though.

“The construction sector is at a crossroads,” says Richard Branch, chief economist at Dodge. “The recovery from the pandemic morphed in 2022 by encompassing more sectors than just warehouses and single-family housing despite rampant inflation in construction materials, a lack of key goods and a stark shortage of skilled construction labor. Even though the level of projects currently in planning portends a bright second half to the year, the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation has taken a toll on the economy and raised concerns that a recession could occur. As a result, construction starts are likely to move sideways over the second half of the year and potentially stall as the calendar shifts into 2023.”

In the top 10 metro areas, commercial and multifamily starts rose 28 percent in the first six months of 2022 versus 2021. Three metro areas – Seattle, Los Angeles and Philadelphia – posted a decline.

In the metro areas ranked 11th through 20th, commercial and multifamily starts rose 16 percent on the year through six months. Five of those metros, however, slipped from the first half of 2021.

Dodge says commercial and multifamily construction are doing well in 2022 due to rising demand for apartments and condos. The recovery in the commercial sector is creating broad-based improvements across the U.S., the firm adds.

According to Dodge, the New York metro area was the top market for commercial and multifamily starts in the first half of the year at $15.3 billion. That figure represents a 20 percent increase from the first half of 2021. Dallas ranks second so far in 2022, totaling $8.1 billion for a 72 percent year-to-date gain. The Washington, D.C., metro area ranked third for the year’s first six months with $5.5 billion in starts – a 35 percent gain over 2021.

Aside from Seattle, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, the other markets in the top 10 are Miami (up 31 percent), Austin, Texas (up 70 percent), Phoenix (up 53 percent) and Atlanta (up 68 percent).

The markets ranked 11th through 20th include Houston (up 20 percent), Boston (down 25 percent), Denver (up 29 percent), Orlando, Florida (up 66 percent), Tampa, Florida (up 83 percent), Chicago (down 1 percent), San Jose, California (up 186 percent), Nashville, Tennessee (down 2 percent), Minneapolis (down 10 percent) and Kansas City (down 1 percent).

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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