Total construction starts fell 3% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $854.8 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. There were few bright spots during the month, with all three sectors (residential, nonresidential building and nonbuildings) moving lower in July.
Nonresidential building starts fell 1% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $283.8 billion. Commercial starts lost 19% during the month as starts pulled back in the warehouse, office and retail sectors, while hotel starts rose. Institutional starts rose 11% during the month due to gains in healthcare, recreation and transportation, while education starts fell. Manufacturing starts posted a solid gain in the month, nearly doubling from June’s level. Through the first seven months of 2021 nonresidential building starts were 4% higher when compared to the first seven months of 2020. Commercial starts were up 5% and manufacturing starts rose 45%, while institutional starts were 1% lower.
For the 12 months ending July 2021, nonresidential building starts were 8% lower than the 12 months ending July 2020. Commercial starts were down 8%, while institutional starts fell 5%. Manufacturing starts dropped 26% in the 12 months ending July 2021.
Residential building starts fell 6% in July to a seasonally adjusted rate of $400.0 billion. Single-family starts lost 6% in July, while multifamily starts dipped 4%. Through seven months, residential starts were 30% higher than the same period one year ago. Single-family starts were up 34%, while multifamily was 19% higher.
For the 12 months ending July 2021, total residential starts were 23% higher than the 12 months ending July 2020. Single-family starts gained 29%, while multifamily starts were up 8% on a 12-month sum basis.