U.S. Construction Starts Had Three Consecutive Quarters of Positive Growth in 2017

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ConstructConnect’s quarterly report shows the most significant annual growth in the civil engineering and residential sectors

The Forecast Quarterly Report  combines ConstructConnect's proprietary data with macroeconomic factors and Oxford Economics econometric expertise

The Forecast Quarterly Report combines ConstructConnect's proprietary data with macroeconomic factors and Oxford Economics econometric expertise

Out to 2021, residential will be the main driver of total construction starts, recording year-over-year increases of nearly +6.0% or more.

ConstructConnect, a leading provider of construction information and technology solutions in North America, announced today the release of its Q4 2017 Forecast Quarterly Report. The Winter 2017-18 starts forecast includes year-over-year estimates for 2017 that have become more upbeat than a quarter ago. Groundbreakings on several mega projects late this year have provided exceptional lift to the industrial and engineering type-of-structure categories.

“Out to 2021, residential will be the main driver of total construction starts, recording year-over-year increases of nearly +6.0% or more,” explained Chief Economist Alex Carrick. “Non-residential building will disappoint, with gains of only about +2.0% each year. Engineering will be strong in 2018 and 2019, as energy initiatives and infrastructure work are promoted by Washington, but will then moderate in 2020-21.”

The forecast which combines ConstructConnect's proprietary data with macroeconomic factors and Oxford Economics econometric expertise, shows some of the more robust 2018 starts forecasts:

  • Single-family residential, +8.8%
  • Warehouses, +4.7%
  • Nursing homes, +5.9%
  • Educational facilities, +4.2%
  • Roads, +5.9%
  • Bridges, +10.2%
  • Miscellaneous civil (power, oil and gas), +13.8%

2017 total starts are now expected to be +7.9% (versus an earlier calculated +4.5%). Residential has been upgraded to +10.1% and engineering/civil to +23.1%. Non-residential building has been left essentially flat at -0.5%.

For 2018, the new forecasts shave a bit off what was previously expected. Total starts are now projected to be +4.8%, a little slower than the +5.9% of a quarter ago. Residential will be +6.7% in 2018; non-res building, +1.9%; and heavy engineering/civil, +6.6%.

In residential construction, the multi-family market has had its turn and it will be the single-family market that will expand more rapidly moving forward, aided by family-formations among the millennial generation.

The forecast reports that educational facilities will grow faster than hospitals in 2018, but beginning in 2019 their positions will reverse. Some other non-residential building type-of-structure categories with bullish outlooks include: courthouses and prisons; warehouses; and nursing homes. Airports and sports stadiums will also be stepping into the construction spotlight.

The report noted a few ongoing economic trends:

  • A synchronous world expansion is underway, with North America, Japan, China and Europe all experiencing GDP growth
  • Based on demographics, housing starts have fallen short of potential for almost a decade
  • Office space demand will increasingly come from firms engaged in high-tech
  • Prices for many internationally traded commodities are on the mend

To learn more about ConstructConnect or get a free copy of the Forecast Quarterly Report, visit constructconnect.com.

About ConstructConnect
ConstructConnect is a leading provider of construction information and technology solutions in North America. Through the combination of its four legacy brands (iSqFt, Construction Market Data, BidClerk and Construction Data), ConstructConnect brings project participants together with the most complete, accurate and actionable construction data and tools to drive success in national, regional and local markets. Its collaborative network empowers the construction industry to be more successful with access to relevant information through easy to use technology. For more information, visit constructconnect.com.

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Deborah Reale
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