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Construction starts rise in majority of top US markets in first half of 2019

By |  August 26, 2019
Dodge Data & Analytics

Thirteen of the top 20 U.S. metropolitan markets saw increased commercial and multifamily construction starts during the first half of 2019, compared to the same period last year. Chart courtesy of Dodge Data & Analytics. Click to enlargeĀ 

Six of the top 10 United States metropolitan markets for commercial and multifamily construction starts saw greater activity in the first half of 2019 compared to the same time period a year ago, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.

Furthermore, 13 of the top 20 U.S. markets, ranked by dollar volume, registered activity gains in the first half of 2019 compared to the first half of 2018, Dodge Data & Analytics says.

On a national level, however, commercial and multifamily construction starts was down 6 percent to $101.4 billion in the first half of 2019, compared to $107.4 billion in the first half of last year.

“So far in 2019, multifamily housing has settled back from last year’s robust amount, although this year’s volume can still be regarded as healthy by recent standards,” says Robert Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “Due to the strong 2018 economy, market fundamentals for multifamily housing such as occupancies and rents strengthened, and have not yet begun to erode in a widespread manner. At the same time, there are concerns that multifamily housing is overbuilt in some markets, and the banking sector continues to take a cautious stance towards multifamily lending. As for commercial building, office construction starts in 2019 have seen modest expansion compared to last year, helped by groundbreaking for large office projects and the support coming from the continued strength of data center projects.”

At $15 billion, the New York City metropolitan area held its number one ranking by dollar volume, though that figure is an 8 percent decrease from the first half fo 2018. The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area came in at second ($7.1 billion, 50 percent increase) while the Boston metropolitan area was third ($3.8 billion, 2 percent increase).

Zach Mentz

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