April construction starts fell 2% amid rising materials prices, supply shortages

May 20, 2021

Dodge Data & Analytics, New York, has reported construction starts fell 2% in April as higher material materials prices, supply shortages and a lack of skilled labor continue to affect the industry.

“The pullback in single-family construction starts was inevitable after showing exceptional strength over the past year,” said Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “Higher material prices, supply shortages and a dearth of skilled construction labor were bound to catch up with housing and will ultimately limit the ability of this sector to show the same rate of expansion this year as it did last. Meanwhile, nonresidential starts are stabilizing and should continue to heal throughout 2021; however, this sector will also be challenged by similar issues facing the housing market that will cause its starts to be below pre-pandemic levels for months to come.”

Nonresidential building construction rose 16% in April. Commercial construction starts increased 12% because of gains in the office and warehouse categories, and institutional starts grew 19% with gains in education, transportation and recreation buildings.

Residential building construction fell 12% in April. Single-family housing dropped 18%, and multifamily construction rose 5%.

Nonbuilding construction rose 2% in April.

For the 12 months ending April, nonresidential building was down 26% compared with the 12 months ending April 2020. Residential building rose 12%, and nonbuilding construction fell 9%.

Tags: Business | Residential | Commercial | Trends

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