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The Markets that Have Seen the Most Construction Starts So Far in 2018

Five of the top 10 markets for commercial and multifamily construction starts in the first half of 2018 showed increased activity compared to the same period in 2017, according to Dodge, Data & Analytics.

A new report from Dodge Data & Analytics shows that the volume of commercial and multifamily construction starts nationally during the first half of 2018 was $101.4 billion, down 1 percent from last year’s first half, although still 2 percent above what was reported during the first half of 2016.

The New York metropolitan area, at $16.1 billion during the first half of 2018, ranked first on the list. Overall, New York’s activity alone accounted for 16 percent of the development in the nation. Activity jumped by 44 percent compared to the same period last year.

Other markets in the top ten showing growth during the first half of 2018 were Washington, D.C. ($5.0 billion), up 23 percent; Miami, ($4.9 billion), up 34 percent; Boston ($3.7 billion), up 56 percent; and Seattle ($3.2 billion), up 7 percent.

Six markets in the 11 to 20 range also posted year-over-year gains.

The commercial and multifamily total is comprised of office buildings, stores, hotels, warehouses, commercial garages, and multifamily housing.

“Multifamily housing has proven to be surprisingly resilient so far during 2018, following its 8 percent decline in dollar terms at the U.S. level that was reported for the full year 2017,” Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics, said in a statement. “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. Yet, after some loss of momentum during 2017, several factors appear to be providing near-term support for multifamily housing. The U.S. economy is currently moving at a healthy clip, with steady job growth bringing new workers into the labor force. The demand for multifamily housing by millennials remains strong, given their desire to live in downtown areas while the increasing price of a single family home and diminished tax benefits may be dissuading some from making the transition to single family home ownership. As shown by this year’s surveys of bank lending officers conducted by the Federal Reserve, the extent of bank tightening for multifamily construction loans is not as widespread as a year ago.”

The following gallery lists the top 20 markets in Dodge’s report, including construction volumes for each of the past three years and the year-over-year gains or declines for each market.

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