HAMILTON, NJ – Total housing starts declined 7% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 631.6 billion. The decline was due to a significant drop in the non-construction segment, which fell 31% from June to July. Housing starts for non-residential buildings increased by 3%, while housing starts for residential buildings increased by 2%.
For seven months, year-to-date starts have been 15% lower than the same period in 2019. Non-residential starts decreased 25%, non-building starts decreased 20% and residential starts decreased 4%. In the twelve months to July 2020, total housing starts fell by a modest 5% compared to the same period last year. Housing starts for non-residential buildings were 11% lower while housing starts for residential buildings rose by 1%. In between, housing starts declined, with a 7% decrease in the twelve months to July 2020. In July, the Dodge index fell 7% from 144 in June to 134 (2000 = 100). Compared to the previous year, the Dodge Index fell 32%.
"The decline in housing starts in July should not be interpreted as a setback on the path to recovery for the sector," said Richard Branch, chief economist at Dodge Data & Analytics. “The increases in the non-residential and residential sectors reflect the general general improvements in the economy. The decline in public works could spell a recovery in activity after a solid spring, with some projects laying the groundwork earlier than expected to take advantage of the fewer cars on the road during the COVID-19 shutdown in March and April. As the recovery progresses, the congressional impasse that prevents the expansion of improved unemployment insurance benefits and small business loans that were included in previous fiscal support packages is pale in future growth path. In addition, the rise in housing starts for non-residential buildings was solely due to the strength in the Northeast and West regions, with housing starts in the South Atlantic and South-Central regions falling sharply during the month. While a month is not a trend, the potential risk to construction is significant due to the increasing number of COVID cases in these regions. "
Non-building construction fell 31% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 132.4 billion. All categories within the non-building fell in July. Utilities / gas facilities declined 58% after very strong growth in June. Starts in public environmental works and other non-construction sectors each lost 27%, while highways and bridges fell 25%.
The largest non-construction project to break the ground in July was the $ 1.0 billion Whistler natural gas pipeline, which extends 450 miles from Waha TX to Agua Dulce TX. Also during the month began the $ 421 million expansion of Interstate 26 from Little Mountain SC to Irmo TX and the $ 301 million interchange improvements along State Highway 12 near Dallas TX.
In the first seven months of the year, total non-housing starts decreased by 20% compared to the same period in 2019. Starts in the motorway and bridge category increased by 4%, while the environmental public works category fell by 24% and the other non-construction sector was 30% lower. Since the beginning of the year, launches in the electricity / gas systems category have declined by 46%. On the basis of the rolling 12-month total, starts without construction decreased by 7% compared to the 12 months up to July 2020. The launches in the road and bridge construction category decreased by 2%, while the launches in the electricity / gas systems category decreased by 3%. Housing starts for environmental public works decreased by 13% and starts for various public works decreased by 16%.
Non-residential buildings Takeoffs rose 3% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 202.6 billion. Commercial launches increased 13%, led by increases in hotels, warehouses and office buildings. Institutional starts increased 2% due to an increase in educational activity, while production starts lost 52% during the month. The largest non-residential construction project that kicked off in July was the $ 400 million Mickey Leland International Terminal at the George Bust Intercontinental Airport in Houston. The $ 377 million Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Salt Lake Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT, and the $ 337 million renovation of a terminal building at Los Angeles International Airport also started.
Since the beginning of the year, non-residential housing starts were 25% lower in the first seven months of 2020. Housing starts for institutional buildings decreased 16%, while commercial housing starts decreased 32% and production starts decreased 52% year over year. Date base. In the twelve months to July 2020, housing starts for non-residential buildings decreased by 11% compared to the twelve months to July 2019. Commercial launches were 12% lower, while institutional launches were down 10%. Production starts decreased by 4% on a rolling 12 month basis.
Residential building Takeoffs rose 2% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 296.6 billion. Multi-family starts increased by 11%, while single-family starts decreased by less than one percent. The largest multi-family structure groundbreaking in July was the $ 500 million mixed-use project 101 Lincoln Ave in the Bronx, NY. The $ 275 million mixed-use Figueroa Center complex in Los Angeles, California, and the first phase of the Society Orlando Apartments in Orlando, Florida, valued at $ 200 million, were also launched.
In the first seven months of 2020, housing starts decreased by 4% compared to the same period in 2019. The number of single family starts was 2% higher, while the number of multiple family starts fell by 17% since the beginning of the year. In the twelve months to July, total housing starts were 1% higher than a year earlier. Single family starts increased by 4%, multi-family starts by 7%.