Half of the top 10 metropolitan markets for commercial and multifamily construction starts showed increased activity during the first six months of this year compared with a year ago, says Dodge Data & Analytics, while the other five metros registered decreases.
At the national level, the volume of starts during the first half of 2018 was $101.4 billion, down 1% from last year’s first half and 2% above what was reported for the first half of 2016.
The New York City metro held on to its top ranking, with $16.1 billion, constituting 16% of the U.S. commercial and multifamily total, helped by a 44% increase. The other top 10 markets showing growth during the first half of 2018 were Washington, D.C., with $5 billion, up 23%; Miami, with $4.9 billion, up 34%; Boston, with $3.7 billion, up 56%; and Seattle, at $3.2 billion, up 7%.
On the other hand, five markets are showing decreased activity in commercial and multifamily construction starts, including Dallas, with $3.4 billion, down 23%; Los Angeles, at $2.9 billion, down 38%; San Francisco, with $2.8 billion, down 38%; Chicago, at $2.7 billion, down 37%; and Atlanta, with $2 billion, down 43%.
“Multifamily housing has proven to be surprisingly resilient so far during 2018, following its 8% decline in dollar terms at the U.S. level that was reported for the full year 2017,” says Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “With apartment vacancy rates beginning to edge upward on a year-over-year basis, banks had been taking a more cautious stance towards lending for multifamily projects.”
Additionally, six of the markets ranked between 11 and 20 registered gains for the first half: Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Mo.; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix; Minneapolis; and Portland, Ore. The remaining four posted decreases: Houston, Philadelphia, Denver, and San Jose, Calif.