HAMILTON, NJ – Total housing starts decreased 2% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 797.5 billion after rising sharply in October. Housing starts declined 7% over the month, while non-housing starts decreased 14%. However, construction starts for non-residential buildings rose 19% in November. Total housing starts decreased in three regions, the South Atlantic, the West and the Northeast, but increased in two regions, the Midwest and the South-Central.
Over an eleven-month period since the start of the year, total housing starts were 12% lower than in the same period in 2019. Housing starts for non-residential buildings were 25% lower, while housing starts for non-buildings were 16% lower. In contrast, the number of new homes within 11 months was 3% higher. In November, the Dodge Index fell 2% from its level on October 173 to 169 (2000 = 100). The Dodge Index fell 24% year over year and 6% below its pre-February pandemic levels.
"Housing starts in November were a bit mixed," said Richard Branch, chief economist at Dodge Data & Analytics. “On the positive side, the boom in non-residential construction shows that the recovery from the first few months of the pandemic remains on track. Without the start of a very large bridge and tunnel project in October, non-construction starts would actually have posted a lukewarm profit in November. And despite the decline in single-family homes in November, there is still enormous positive momentum in the housing sector. However, significant concerns remain that given the rising COVID-19 cases, uncertain prospects for additional federal incentives, and the lack of agreement on federal government funding after December 18, the ability to build may maintain its current pace. While the near-term outlook for launches remains bleak, the recent use of a vaccine in the United States raises hopes and expectations that 2021 will be a better year. "
Non-building construction fell in November, falling 14% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 191.8 billion. The November decline was largely a response to the launch of the $ 3.6 billion Hampton Roads Bridge and Tunnel project in October. Indeed, the off-building level in November was higher than the monthly dollar value of the July-September period. In November, public environmental works increased 48% while various non-buildings increased 61%. However, starts for highways and bridges declined 26% while the utility / gas facilities category declined 59%.
The largest non-construction project to break the ground in November was the $ 948 million Capline Marathon Pipeline, a 632-mile system that stretches from Patoka IL to St. James LA. Also starting November were the $ 865 million Howard Frankland Bridge I-275 in Tampa Bay, Florida, and the $ 524 million Northwest Water Treatment Facility in Wichita, KS.
In the first eleven months of the year, total housing starts decreased by 16% compared to the same period last year. The starts in the motorway and bridge category increased by 7% while public environmental works decreased by 6%. The other non-buildings category has decreased by 31% since the start of the year, while the utility / gas systems category has decreased by 45%.
Non-residential buildings Takeoffs rose 19% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 249.7 billion. The commercial sector grew 27% as two large office projects began. There was also growth in the hotel, warehouse and park structures categories. Institutional housing starts increased 17% over the month, driven by growth in health and education. Production starts fell 29% in November.
The largest non-residential construction project started in November was the $ 1.3 billion One Madison Avenue office project in New York, NY. Also launched were the $ 940 million Richard Boulevard Office Complex in Sacramento, California, and the $ 615 million Baptist Healthcare Hospital in Pensacola, FL.
In the first eleven months of 2020, housing starts for non-residential buildings fell by 25% since the beginning of the year. Commercial launches were 26% lower, while institutional launches were 15% lower and production starts were 63% lower.
Residential building Takeoffs fell 7% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 356.1 billion. Single family beginnings decreased by 5% during the month, multi-family beginnings decreased by 14%.
The largest apartment building to break the ground in November was the $ 175 million Simone Residential Tower in San Diego, California. Also starting in November were the $ 123 million Scotts Run Apartments in Tysons, VA, and the $ 103 million Hanover Wellesley Residential Building in Wellesley, MA.
In the first eleven months of 2020, housing starts were 3% higher than in the same period in 2019. The number of single-family beginnings rose by a healthy 10%, but that of multi-family beginnings by 13%.