November Construction Starts Turn in a Solid Performance

12/17/2013 by Bernard M. Markstein
Reed Construction Data announced today that the value of November construction starts, excluding residential contracts, rose a solid 12.5% to $25.0 billion after increasing 5.0% in October. Since the starts data are not seasonally adjusted (NSA), caution should be used in analyzing monthly movements. Year-over-year comparisons are often used, as they remove much of the seasonal effects. Starts were up a less spectacular 2.0% compared to November 2012. The year-to-date starts data, which totaled $250.5 billion, were up a decent, if not overwhelming, 4.3% from the same period in 2012.

The value of construction starts1 each month is summarized from the Reed database of all active construction projects in the U.S., excluding residential construction. Missing project values are estimated with RSMeans building cost models.

Monthly commercial starts have experienced some ups and downs over the course of this year, but have generally trended upward. In November, commercial starts rocketed up 57.5%, after a more modest 2.6% increase in October. Year-to-date, commercial starts were 33.8% higher than in the same period last year. Retail starts, the largest category in the group, advanced 2.5% in November and were up a robust 48.8% year-to-date. Private office starts, the next largest category, surged 35.3% for the month and were up a respectable 12.9% on a year-to-date basis. Hotel and motel starts continue to perform well, jumping 16.1% in November. Year-to-date, they were up a stellar 75.2% compared to the same period in 2012.

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