Single family starts drag as starts stabilize following a robust July
Total construction starts fell 9% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.25 trillion, according to Dodge Construction Network. The decline, however, comes on the heels of a massive increase in July that saw the start of three large manufacturing plants and two LNG export facilities. In August, nonresidential building starts rose 7%, residential starts were 1% higher, while nonbuilding starts lost 36%.
Year-to-date, total construction was 16% higher in the first eight months of 2022 compared to the same period of 2021. Nonresidential building starts rose 35% over the year, residential starts were 1% higher, and nonbuilding starts were up 21%.
For the 12 months ending August 2022, total construction starts were 15% above the 12 months ending August 2021. Nonresidential starts were 33% higher, residential starts gained 4%, and nonbuilding starts were up 15%.
“While construction starts activity continues to be dominated by mega-projects like chip fabrication plants, the middle and lower end of the value spectrum is holding up well,” said Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Construction Network. “This is a sign that organic growth in the construction sector has not yet been undermined by the concern of a potential recession in 2023. While higher interest rates may undo this support in the coming months, the industry is in a very good position to continue modest growth.”
Below is the breakdown for construction starts:
- Nonbuilding construction starts fell 36% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $278.8 billion. This decline follows a July that saw the start of two multi-billion-dollar LNG export plants. If these projects were excluded from July, August’s nonbuilding starts would have increased 27%. In August, highway and bridge starts moved 21% higher, environmental public works increased 39%, while miscellaneous nonbuilding starts lost 9%. Through the first eight months of the year, total nonbuilding starts were 21% higher than in 2021. Utility/gas plant starts gained 57% through the first eight months, highway and bridge starts were 21% higher, and environmental public works were 14% higher. Miscellaneous nonbuilding starts, by contrast, were down 14% through the first eight months.
For the 12 months ending August 2022, total nonbuilding starts were 15% higher than in the 12 months ending August 2021. Utility/gas plant starts were 46% higher, highway and bridge starts rose 11%, and environmental public works increased by 15%. Miscellaneous nonbuilding starts decreased by 14%.
The largest nonbuilding projects to break ground in August were the $1.9 billion third phase of the New Soo Lock Chamber in Sault Ste Marie, MI, a $738 million paving project in Honolulu, HI, and the $460 million first phase of the Sand Island wastewater treatment plant in Honolulu, HI.
- Nonresidential building starts moved 7% higher in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $569.6 billion. August’s gain comes on the heels of a massive increase in July that saw the start of several large manufacturing projects. Supporting the August gain were an airport terminal, a chip fabrication facility, and a large hotel and entertainment complex. Commercial starts were 22% higher in August, with all categories posting an increase. Institutional starts were up 62%, despite education and healthcare starts declining, and manufacturing starts lost 42% during the month. Through the first eight months of 2022, nonresidential building starts were 35% higher than the first eight months of 2021. Commercial starts advanced 17% and institutional starts rose 18%, while manufacturing starts were 231% higher on a year-to-date basis.
For the 12 months ending August 2022, nonresidential building starts were 33% higher than in the 12 months ending August 2021. Commercial starts grew 17%, institutional starts rose 17%, and manufacturing starts rose 224% on a 12-month rolling sum basis.
The largest nonresidential building projects to break ground in August were the $9.5 billion New Terminal One at JFK airport in Jamacia, NY, the $8.5 billion Samsung chip fabrication plant in Taylor, TX, and the $1.1 billion Gaylord Pacific Hotel and Convention Center in Chula Vista, CA.
- Residential building starts rose 1% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $400.7 billion. Single family starts lost 10%, while multifamily starts gained 19%. Through the first eight months of 2022, residential starts were 1% higher than during the same timeframe in 2021. Multifamily starts were up 28%, while single family housing slipped 8%.
For the 12 months ending August 2022, residential starts improved 4% from the same period ending August 2021. Single family starts were 6% lower, while multifamily starts were 33% stronger on a 12-month rolling sum basis.
The largest multifamily structures to break ground in August were the $700 million Aria Reserve residential tower in Miami, FL, the $500 million 30 Van Ness mixed-use tower in San Francisco, CA, and the $500 million 42-02 Orchard Street mixed-use tower in Long Island City, NY.
- Regionally, total construction starts in August rose in the Northeast, South Atlantic, and West, but fell in the Midwest and South Central.
Watch Chief Economist Richard Branch discuss August Construction Starts.
August 2022 CONSTRUCTION STARTS
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