editorial

New Construction Starts Show Ups and Downs in July

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $629.4 billion, new construction starts in July were essentially unchanged from June’s pace, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. By major sector, nonresidential building showed slight improvement following its lackluster June performance, while residential building maintained the strengthening trend witnessed over the past several months.

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Nonresidential Building

Nonresidential building in July increased 2 percent to $194.0 billion (annual rate). The commercial categories as a whole bounced back 12 percent in July, after retreating by the same percentage amount in June.

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Nonbuilding Construction

Nonbuilding construction in July dropped 9 percent to $146.9 billion (annual rate). The decline came as the result of diminished activity for most of the public works categories, which fell 13 percent as a group.

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Residential Building

Residential building, at $288.5 billion (annual rate), advanced 4 percent in July. In similarity to recent months, the main residential push in July came from multifamily housing, which surged 21 percent. July included the start of 16 multifamily projects valued each at $100 million or more, led by the following – a $468 million apartment building in Long Island City, N.Y., a $445 million condominium building in New York, and a $358 million multifamily building in Miami.

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Year-to-Date

The 19 percent advance for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis during the first seven months of 2015 was due to double-digit gains for residential building and nonbuilding construction, while nonresidential building slipped slightly.

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