The value of new construction starts in September jumped 14 percent from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $814.8 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Nonresidential building led the way with a 37-percent spike.
Residential building in September edged up 1 percent, as both single-family and multifamily housing registered modest gains.
Through the first nine months of 2017, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $557.7 billion, nearly matching the corresponding amount from a year ago. If the electric utility/gas plant category is excluded, total construction starts during the first nine months of 2017 would be up 3 percent compared to the same period last year.
Nonresidential building in September was $368.8 billion (annual rate).
The institutional building categories as a group climbed 25 percent in September, led by a 145-percent hike for transportation terminal work. Educational facilities, the largest nonresidential building category by dollar amount, increased 14 percent in September. There were ten educational facility projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in September. Healthcare facilities in September retreated 2 percent.
The smaller institutional project types showed a mixed performance in September. The public buildings category climbed 42 percent, while declines were reported in September for religious buildings, down 5 percent, and amusement-related projects, down 59 percent.
The commercial building categories as a group settled back 4 percent in September, following a 12-percent gain in August. Hotel construction dropped 45 percent from August, which featured the start of several large projects. On the plus side, office construction advanced 23 percent in September, and gains were reported in store construction, up 12 percent.
Multifamily housing has shown an up-and-down pattern so far during 2017, as its 2-perecnt increase in September followed an 8-percent drop in August. There were seven multifamily projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in September.