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February 14, 2020 Comments (0) Views: 564 National News

Report: Commercial Construction Starts Accelerated in Top Metro Areas in 2019

The value of commercial and multifamily construction starts during 2019 in the top 20 metropolitan areas in the U.S. gained 11% and reached $139.6 billion, according to a recent report from Dodge Data & Analytics.

Across the nation, commercial and multifamily starts were up 1% in 2019 at $227.5 billion. The top 10 metros gained 8% during the year, with seven of those 10 reporting year-over-year increases. Gains in second-tier metro areas, which Dodge ranked 11-20, were stronger at 17%, with eight of 10 posting year-over-year growth.

The largest market for commercial and multifamily starts was the New York metro at $30.9 billion. But the metro’s rate of growth slowed in 2019 to 5% from a 13% gain in 2018. Second place was Washington D.C., which posted an 18% gain to $11.4 billion. The Los Angeles metro rose from fifth place in 2018 to third in 2019, due in part to a 17% increase that brought starts up to $8.9 billion.

Other metros posting large gains included Dallas ($7.6 billion), Atlanta ($7.1 billion), Houston ($7.1 billion) and Austin ($5.4 billion).

Of the top 10 markets posting declines, Boston went down 13% to $8.2 billion, Miami dropped 3% down to $8 billion and Chicago lowered 6% to $6.7 billion. Altogether, the top 10 metro areas accounted for 45% of all U.S. commercial and multifamily construction starts in 2019.

The commercial and multifamily total is comprised of office buildings, stores, hotels, warehouses, commercial garages, and multifamily housing.

“Commercial construction starts continue to be the bulwark of U.S. construction activity, as strong demand for office and warehouse buildings pushes the value of construction to higher levels,” said Richard Branch, chief economist at Dodge Data & Analytics.

“Multifamily starts, however, are past their peak and have entered cyclical decline. The growing divide, however, between the larger and smaller metro areas was stark in 2019. While commercial and multifamily starts in the top 20 metro areas in the country moved 11% higher in 2019, those metros ranked 21-50 lost 7%.”

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