Gains in nonresidential unable to overcome a pullback in single family
Total construction starts fell 2% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $853.5 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Single family construction posted a sizeable decline following months of strong activity, while nonresidential building and nonbuilding starts both gained.
“The pullback in single family construction starts was inevitable after showing exceptional strength over the past year,” said Richard Branch, Chief Economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “Higher material prices, supply shortages, and a dearth of skilled construction labor were bound to catch up with housing and will ultimately limit the ability of this sector to show the same rate of expansion this year as it did last. Meanwhile, nonresidential starts are stabilizing and should continue to heal throughout 2021, however, this sector will also be challenged by similar issues facing the housing market that will cause its starts to be below pre-pandemic levels for months to come.”
Below is the full breakdown across nonbuilding, nonresidential, and residential construction:
For the 12 months ending April 2021, total nonbuilding starts were 9% lower than the 12 months ending April 2020. Environmental public works starts were up 14%, while highway and bridge starts were up 1%. Utility and gas plant starts were down 34% for the 12 months ending April 2021 and miscellaneous nonbuilding starts were down 15%.
The largest nonbuilding projects to break ground in April were the $625 million Atkina Solar Power Power in Wharton County TX, the $530 million New York Energy Solution Transmission Project in Claverack NY, and the $357 million North City Pure Water Facility in San Diego CA.
For the 12 months ending April 2021, nonresidential building starts were 26% lower than the 12 months ending April 2020. Commercial starts were down 27%, while institutional starts were 18% lower. Manufacturing starts were down 53% for the 12 months ending April 2021.
The largest nonresidential building projects to break ground in April were a $1.2 billion conversion of a storage building to an office project in New York NY, the $530 million Mickey Leland International Terminal in Houston TX, and a $325 million Amazon office project in Bellevue WA.
For the 12 months ending April 2021, total residential starts were 12% higher than the 12 months ending April 2020. Single family starts gained 20%, while multifamily starts were down 8% on a 12-month sum basis.
The largest multifamily structures to break ground in April were the $232 million Travis Residential Tower 1 in Austin TX, the $173 million 241 W 28th St mixed-use project in New York NY, and the $165 million Union Square Tower in Somerville, MA.
To learn more about the data behind this article and what Dodge Analytics has to offer, visit https://www.construction.com/.
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