Total construction starts up 8 percent in 2015

By |  January 22, 2016

Dodge-Data-Analytics-LogoNew construction starts in December 2015 advanced 4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $591.6 billion, reports Dodge Data & Analytics. The December statistics produced a reading of 125 for the Dodge Index, compared to a revised 120 for November 2015. For 2015 as a whole, total construction starts climbed 8 percent to $645.5 billion with a Dodge Index average of 137.

Nonresidential building

Nonresidential building in December grew 3 percent to $178.5 billion. Office construction rose 6 percent, and the garage and service station category increased 50 percent. Warehouse construction in December 2015 remained unchanged from the previous month, and the manufacturing plant category fell 16 percent.

On the institutional side of the nonresidential building market, amusement-related work rose 87 percent, transportation terminal work rose 48 percent, religious buildings were up 13 percent and healthcare facilities grew 11 percent.

For 2015 as a whole, nonresidential building fell 8 percent to $204.2 billion, with a 39 percent decrease in the manufacturing plant category. In this category, healthcare facilities fell 10 percent, public buildings decreased 3 percent, amusement-related work fell 6 percent and transportation terminals decreased 11 percent. Despite this, the educational facilities category rose 1 percent.

The commercial building group in 2015 held steady compared to 2014. Hotel construction rose 15 percent and store construction increased 3 percent. Additionally, the office category decreased 5 percent and the garage and service station category slipped 1 percent.

Residential building

Residential building in December fell 6 percent to $278.1 billion. Multifamily housing increased 22 percent, and single-family housing remained unchanged.

For 2015 as a whole, residential building was up 14 percent at $265.4 billion. Single-family housing grew 13 percent and multifamily housing increased 18 percent.

Nonbuilding construction

Finally, nonbuilding construction in December 2015 rose 3 percent to $135 billion, mainly due to the 108-percent rebound in the electric utility and gas plant category. The public works categories as a group fell 8 percent, with highway and bridge construction down 7 percent and miscellaneous public works down 29 percent. Despite this, each of the environmental public works categories in December increased, with river/harbor development up 26 percent, water supply construction up 19 percent and sewer construction up 9 percent.

For the full year of 2015, nonbuilding construction increased 23 percent, which was due mainly to the 141 percent increase in the electric power and gas plant category. Public works construction in 2015 showed no change from 2014, with highway and bridge construction rising 10 percent. The environmental public works categories registered declines in 2015, with sewer and water supply construction each down 4 percent and river/harbor development down 9 percent. The miscellaneous public works category fell 16 percent.

According to Dodge Data & Analytics, the 8 percent gain for total construction starts at the national level in 2015 was the result of greater activity in all five major regions, with the Northeast region up 17 percent, the South Central region up 16 percent, the South Atlantic region up 4 percent, the Midwest up 3 percent and the West up 2 percent.

Allison Kral

About the Author:

Allison Kral is the former senior digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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