Total construction starts rebounded in April, increasing 6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.13 trillion. This followed a 1% decrease in March. According to Richard Branch, Dodge Construction Network’s (DCN) chief economist, April’s jump was due to optimism surrounding end-market demand.

Overall, nonresidential building starts gained 17%, while residential starts declined by 1%. On a year-to-date basis through April, total construction starts were up 13%. Residential starts jumped 22%, and nonresidential building starts grew by 5%.

“The rebound in starts in April was certainly good news for the sector,” explains Branch. “While the uncertain timing of interest rate cuts is causing concern, developers and owners feel reasonably confident that end-market demand will sustain project starts in some sectors. While risk remains in the sector for interest rates, labor and material prices, the value of projects in planning has been reasonably stable, indicating future confidence.”

Nonresidential

Nonresidential building starts rose 17% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $423 billion. DCN data shows that manufacturing starts more than doubled during the month due to the start of two large projects. Institutional starts rose 16% due to a gain in healthcare and transportation projects, while commercial starts lost 1%. On a year-to-date basis through April, total nonresidential starts were up 5%. Institutional starts were 19% higher, while commercial and manufacturing starts were each down 6%.

The largest nonresidential building projects to break ground in April were the $3.7 billion UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California, the $1.8 billion Linde Blue Hydrogen plant in Beaumont, Texas, and the $1 billion Scout Motors EV plant in Blythewood, South Carolina.

Residential

Residential building starts fell 1% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $395 billion. Single-family starts fell 7%, while multifamily starts gained 13%. On a year-to-date basis through April, total residential starts were 22% higher. Single-family starts improved 32%, and multifamily starts were 4% higher.

The largest multifamily structures to break ground in April were the $300 million 1690 Revere Beach Parkway in Everett, Massachusetts, the $270 million Innovative Urban mixed-use building in East New York, New York, and the $160 million 120 E144th Street apartment building in Mott Haven, New York.

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