Dallas-Fort Worth Construction Starts Fall 16 Percent in First Three Months of 2019

North Texas construction starts declined sharply in March.Starts for both new commercial and residential building fell 25 percent from a year ago, according to Dodge Data & Analytics' tracking.With March's data, Dallas-Fort Worth construction activity for the first quarter was down 16 percent from the first three months of 2018.The biggest decline in recent months has been in nonresidential building activity, which has fallen 19 percent this year from year-ago levels.Total building starts in D-FW total $4.7 billion so far in 2019, compared with $5.6 billion in the same period last year, according to Dodge Data.The region's decline in building activity last month came as nationwide construction starts rose 16 percent. Nonresidential building activity across the country was up 24 percent."It remains true that the construction expansion is decelerating, but the March upturn indicates that the loss of momentum won't be as pronounced as suggested by the subdued activity in January and February," Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data, said in a statement. "It's still expected that the overall dollar amount for construction starts for 2019 will be able to stay close to what was reported for 2018."The commercial building segment is supported by market fundamentals that have yet to erode, while the institutional building segment continues to move at a good clip," he said. "The areas of concern in the near term relate to residential building, with single-family housing not able to strengthen due to affordability constraints while multifamily housing seems to be pulling back from its strong 2018 pace."D-FW construction starts were down 10 percent in 2018, following record activity in 2017. Even with that decline, North Texas builders started projects valued at $22.3 billion -- second nationally only to New York City.  Continue reading...

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