HAMILTON, NJ – Total housing starts in March rose 2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 825.3 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. A solid spike in non-residential housing starts led to a spike in March, while housing start growth was tiny and non-residential housing starts fell instantly. The Dodge Index rose 2% in March to 175 (2000 = 100) from 172 in February.
"The March increase in housing starts is certainly welcome news after the last three months of decline," said Richard Branch, chief economist at Dodge Data & Analytics. “Construction work will continue to improve over the course of the year. But just as the pandemic begins to ease the economy, logistical problems and the rapid escalation in material prices are the main risk for the construction sector. These issues could limit opportunities in the months ahead and cause the sector's recovery to lag behind that of the economy as a whole. "
Below is the full breakdown of non-building, non-residential, and residential:
Non-building construction begins fell 7% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 186.7 billion after posting sizeable gains in February. Various non-construction sectors (-43%) and public environmental works (-11%) contributed to the decline, while the gas utility and highways and bridges categories rose 39% and 2% respectively.
In the 12 months to March 2021, total construction starts were 10% lower than in the 12 months to March 2020. Motorway and bridge starts were 3% higher on a rolling 12-month basis, while public environmental works increased 8% . Other non-buildings decreased 19% in the 12 months ended March 2021 and utility / gas start-ups decreased 36%.
The largest non-construction projects that will lay the foundation in March included the $ 1.2 billion (1.1 GW) Sanborn solar facility in Mojave, California, the $ 525 million Azure Sky (350 MW) wind farm in Throckmorton, TX, and the $ 425 million expensive Double E Pipeline, a 135 mile pipeline between Eddy County, NM and Waha, TX.
The construction of non-residential buildings begins rose 13% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 235.3 billion. Institutional housing starts rose 15% over the month, driven by growth in education, leisure and public buildings. Housing starts rose 11% thanks to healthy growth in all commercial sectors. Production starts lost 52% in March after hitting strong levels in the past two months.
In the 12 months to March 2021, housing starts for non-residential buildings decreased by 28% compared to the 12 months to March 2020. Commercial launches were down 30%, institutional launches were down 20%, and production starts were down 56% in the 12 months to March 2021.
The largest non-residential construction projects are due to lay the foundation stone in March It was a $ 306 million warehouse owned by Amazon, Inc. in Maspeth, NY, Ball Corp.'s $ 300 million aluminum can factory. in Pittson, PA; and the $ 288 million redevelopment of the TCCD Northwest campus in Arlington, TX.
Residential building begins rose less than one percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 403.3 billion. The number of multi-family launches rose rapidly by 33%, while the number of single-family launches fell by 9%.
In the 12 months to March 2021, total residential starts were 6% higher than in the 12 months to March 2020. Single-family starts increased by 14%, while multi-family starts decreased by 14% on a 12-month total basis.
The largest apartment buildings that laid the foundation stone in March were the $ 329 million mixed-use project at 1629 Market Street in San Francisco, California, the $ 287 million Schuylkill Yards West Tower in Philadelphia, PA, and the National Urban League's $ 242 million mixed-use building in New York , NY.
Regional, March starts increased in the West, South-Central and Northeast regions, but fell in the Midwest and South Atlantic regions.