August 5, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession crushed construction starts in most U.S. metro areas during the first half of 2020. The latest research by Dodge Data & Analytics shows commercial and multifamily starts in Seattle plummeted 26% to $1.6 billion and Portland dropped 33% to $1.1 billion.
Richard Branch, Chief Economist for Dodge Data & Analytics, says, “Across the board, building projects have been halted or delayed with virtually no sector immune from damage. Construction starts have begun to increase from their April lows and there is cautious optimism that as the year progresses construction markets around the country will begin a modest recovery.”
Commercial and multifamily construction starts in the top 20 U.S. metropolitan areas posted a drop of 22% through the first six months of 2020, reports Dodge Data & Analytics. The New York metro area held on to its top spot, despite falling 24% below year-ago levels to $11.5 billion.
For the first three months of 2020, U.S. multifamily and commercial building starts inched up 1% from the same period of 2019. But the full force of the pandemic bore down on U.S. construction starts in April as economic activity virtually shut down and local restrictions on construction took effect.
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