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New-construction starts, comprising nonresidential, residential, and nonbuilding construction, fell 9% in July from the elevated pace reported in June, reports Dodge Data & Analytics. With a seasonally adjusted rate of $817.4 billion last month, the decline follows strong gains for total construction starts during the past two months, with May up 14% and June up 11%.

July residential building held close to its June amount, at $326.5 billion, increasing 2%. Multifamily housing receded 1%, after its 8% gain in June, while single-family housing registered a gain of 3%.

“The pattern of construction starts on a monthly basis is often affected by the presence or absence of very large projects, and several exceptionally large projects boosted activity in June to an unsustainably high amount,” stated Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics, in a release. “Amidst the monthly ups and downs, the broad trend for construction starts during 2018 remains one of modest expansion.”

Dodge Data & Analytics

Seven multifamily projects with a construction start cost of $100 million or more reached groundbreaking in July, matching the seven projects from the month previous.

The large multifamily entries recorded in July were led by two Brooklyn, N.Y., projects: the $524 million multifamily portion of a $600 million mixed-use building, and the $375 million redevelopment of an old Macy’s garage.

Other large multifamily projects from last month include the groundbreaking of a $200 million multifamily tower in Houston and the $174 million multifamily portion of a $255 million mixed-use development in Los Angeles.

In July, the top five metropolitan areas ranked by dollar amount of multifamily starts were New York City; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Chicago; and Los Angeles. The metros ranked six through 10 were Houston, Dallas, Baltimore, Boston, and Denver.