Rising Home Starts Fueled D-FW Construction Increase in May
A surge in residential building starts in May fueled a sharp rise in construction activity in Dallas-Fort Worth. Residential building activity rose by more than 40% last month compared with a year earlier, according to a report by Dodge Data & Analytics. Commercial building starts are almost unchanged from May 2020 levels, but total building activity in North Texas was up 25% year-over-year.
For the first five months of 2021, D-FW building starts are running 18% ahead of the same period last year, according to Dodge Data. Most of the increase has been from rising starts of single-family and multi-family homes.
Nationwide construction starts were down 1% in May due to a decline in residential building, Dodge Data analysts found.
More than $2 billion in D-FW construction starts were tracked in May, bringing the total for the first five months of 2021 to $11.3 billion.
“The weight of higher material prices and a lack of skilled labor are having a direct and notable influence on residential construction activity,” Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics, said in the latest report. “These negative factors are expected to continue to impact the sector over the remainder of the year and will result in a less positive influence from housing on overall levels of construction activity. “While feeling similar effects, the nonresidential sector continues its modest recovery off the lows of last summer,” he said. “There are enough projects in the planning pipeline to suggest this trend should continue into next year, but higher material prices will result in longer lead times to groundbreaking and more temperate improvements in nonresidential starts.”
U.S. nonresidential building starts were up 10% in May. In 2020, the D-FW area suffered a 20% drop in construction activity due to the pandemic...