June Starts Climb 9%

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June Starts Climb 9%

New construction starts in June rose 9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $832.7 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The increase followed the 10% gain reported for May, as total construction starts continued to strengthen following April’s subdued performance. By major sector, much of the lift in June came from a 16% jump for nonresidential building, which reflected the start of the $1.1 billion expansion to Terminal 5 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, as well as sharp gains for office buildings, public buildings (detention facilities and courthouses), healthcare facilities, and warehouses. The other two major sectors registered moderate growth in June, with nonbuilding construction up 6% and residential building up 5%. Through the first six months of 2019, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $378.8 billion, down 8% from the same period a year ago. On a twelve-month moving total basis, total construction starts for the twelve months ending June 2019 were 4% below the amount for the twelve months ending June 2018. Healthcare facilities climbed 22% in June, featuring the start of six hospital projects valued each at $100 million or more that were led by the $305 million Altru Hospital in Grand Forks ND and the $245 million University of North Carolina Hospital Surgical Tower in Chapel Hill NC. Educational facilities, the largest institutional building category, edged up 1% in June as it registered growth for the third straight month. There were four high school buildings valued each at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in June, located in Richmond TX ($158 million), Wilkes-Barre PA ($137 million), Ames IA ($137 million), and Falls Church VA ($108 million). The top five states in terms of the dollar amount of educational facility projects that reached the construction start stage during the first half of 2019 were – Texas. California, New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio. Decreased activity in June was reported for amusement-related projects, down 7%; and religious buildings, down 43%.