Total housing starts fell 12% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $903.8 billion, according to Dodge Construction Network.
Non-residential building starts fell 29%, in part due to the start-up of three large manufacturing facilities in the previous month. When these three major projects are removed, non-residential housing starts in March would have increased by 10%. Residential starts also fell 3% and non-construction starts fell 2%.
Year-to-date, total construction is up 9% in the first three months of 2022 compared to the same period of 2021. Non-residential building starts are up 26%, residential starts by 3%, while non-construction starts were 1% lower. For the 12 months ending in March 2022, the total number of housing starts was 15% higher than the 12 months ending in March 2021. Non-residential housing starts increased by 25%, housing starts Housing starts rose 15% and non-construction starts fell 1%.
“The volatility caused by the ebb and flow of major projects masks an underlying trend of strengthening housing starts,” said Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Construction Network. “Non-residential construction has benefited from growing confidence that the worst of the pandemic is in the rearview window. The pipeline of projects awaiting start-up continues to fill, suggesting that this trend will continue. However, higher prices and a shortage of skilled labor will slow the progress of these projects through the design and tender stages, leading to moderate growth in housing starts.
Below is the breakdown of construction starts:
Non-construction construction starts fell 2% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $194.5 billion. Housing starts in the environmental public works category increased by 35% and miscellaneous non-construction work increased by 10%. Highway and bridge project starts fell 7%, and utility/gas plant starts fell 40% in March.
For the 12 months ending March 2022, total non-construction housing starts were 1% lower than the 12 months ending March 2021. Environmental public works starts were up 11% and Utilities/gas plant starts increased 2%. Highway and bridge starts rose 4% on a rolling 12-month basis, while miscellaneous non-construction starts fell 30%.
Non-residential building starts fell 29% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $274.8 billion. The March decline followed a strong gain in manufacturing activity in February, which saw three major factories start up. In March, commercial housing starts rose 8% due to higher office, hotel and warehouse starts. Institutional housing starts rose 9% in March as starts across all sectors increased.
For the 12 months ending in March 2022, non-residential building starts increased by 25% compared to the 12 months ending in March 2021. Commercial housing starts increased by 21%, institutional starts were up 12% and manufacturing starts were up 162% on a 12-month rolling sum basis. .
Housing starts fell 3% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $435 billion. Single-family starts fell 5%, but multi-family starts rose 4%.
For the 12 months ending in March 2022, residential housing starts improved by 15% compared to the 12 months ending in March 2021. Single-family housing starts increased by 11%, while multi-family housing starts increased 29% on a 12-month moving sum basis.
Regionally, the total number of housing starts in March increased in the South Atlantic, but fell in all other regions.
Source: Dodge Data and Analytics