Commercial and Multifamily Construction Starts: A Mixed Bag

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According to a new report by Dodge Data & Analytics, “First Half 2019 Commercial and Multifamily Construction Starts Show Varied Pattern by Top Metropolitan Areas,” while new construction starts in this sector in several of the nation’s top 20 metropolitan areas have been increasing during the first half of 2019, they have been decreasing in others.

Dodge defines "commercial and multifamily" as being comprised of office buildings, stores, hotels, warehouses, commercial garages, and multifamily housing. It does not include institutional projects (educational facilities, hospitals, convention centers, and transportation terminals) or manufacturing facilities.

Increasing:

1 - Cincinnati ($1.4 billion) - up 130%

2 - Nashville ($2.2 billion) - up 112%

3 - Atlanta ($3.4 billion) - up 69%

4 - Washington, D.C. ($7.1 billion) - up 50%

5 - Austin, Texas ($2.6 billion) - up 39%

6 - Philadelphia ($2.5 billion) - up 34%

7 - Minneapolis ($1.8 billion) - up 28%

8 - Portland, Oregon ($1.4 billion) - up 22%

9 - Columbus, Ohio ($1.2 billion) - up 20%

10 - Los Angeles ($3.8 billion) - up 14%

11 - Orlando, Florida ($1.8 billion) - up 8%

12 - Boston ($3.8 billion) - up 2%

Flat

13 - Chicago ($3.0 billion) - no change

Decreasing

14 - Houston ($2.5 billion) - down 4%

15 - Phoenix ($1.5 billion) - down 5%

16 - Dallas-Ft. Worth ($3.4 billion) - down 7%

17 - New York City ($15 billion) - down 8%

18 - San Francisco ($2.1 billion) - down 24%

19 - Miami ($3.1 billion) - down 38%

20 - Seattle ($1.5 billion) - down 57%

The numbers indicate that increases and decreases are unique to certain metropolitan areas, rather than to regions of the country. For example, some metro areas in the Southeast, such as Atlanta and Orlando, are increasing, while others, such as Miami, are decreasing. Similarly, some in the Northwest, such as Portland, are increasing, while others, such as Seattle, are decreasing.

In the commercial sector, particularly, data center and hotel construction have remained strong, while warehouse and store construction have decreased.

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