November Starts Fall 7%

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November Starts Fall 7%

New construction starts in November fell 7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $789.3 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Nonresidential building in November was $279.9 billion (annual rate), down 15% from October. The manufacturing plant category plunged 71% from an October amount that was boosted by a $1.6 billion natural gas processing plant in Douglas WY, as well as a $400 million wood products plant in Lexington NC, a $400 million natural gas processing plant in Watford City ND, and a $320 million biofuel refinery in Lakeview OR. The largest manufacturing plant projects entered as November construction starts were a $213 million cheese processing plant in St. Johns MI and a $120 million steel mill in Sedalia MO. The institutional building categories as a group dropped 23% in November after registering a 32% hike in October. The transportation terminal category plunged 73% from October that included the start of the $1.4 billion Terminal One building at Newark Liberty International Airport and a $655 million concourse expansion project at Denver International Airport. Amusement-related work dropped 18% from October that included groundbreaking for the $860 million expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas NV. Easing the amusement category’s November decline were the start of two additional large projects in Las Vegas NV – the $450 million Madison Square Garden Sphere performance venue and the $323 million Caesar’s Forum Convention and Meeting Center. Decreased activity in November was also reported for healthcare facilities, down 8%; and public buildings, down 49%; while the church construction category ran counter with a 45% jump after a very weak October. Educational facilities, the largest institutional building category, retreated 6% in November despite groundbreaking for the $164 million Dayton Avenue elementary and middle school campus in Passaic NJ and a $140 million addition to the W.K. Kellogg Institute and Dental Building at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor MI.d be up 3% relative to the same period a year ago. Through the first eleven months of 2018, nonresidential building was down 2% compared to the same period a year ago. The institutional building group retreated 8% year-to-date after jumping 19% during the first eleven months of 2017, with reduced activity reported this year for transportation terminals, down 44%; church construction, down 24%; healthcare facilities, down 10%; and public buildings, down 1%. The commercial building group increased 1% year-to-date, with gains for office buildings, up 14%; and hotel construction, up 13%; but declines for commercial garages, down 1%; warehouses, down 7%; and store construction, down 23%. The manufacturing plant category year-to-date increased 19%.