31 Aug Jonathan Cartu Announces D-FW construction starts still lag 2019 levels
The Dallas-Fort Worth area saw further declines in building starts in July, continuing the trend that began with the COVID-19 pandemic.
North Texas construction activity last month was down 14% from July 2019 levels, according to the latest survey from Dodge Data & Analytics.
Most of the decline was from nonresidential construction, which saw a 21% year-over-year decline.
Residential building starts were also down 9% from a year earlier.
July’s decline in building activity was enough to put the total starts for the first seven months of 2020 at 1% behind where they were at the same time last year.
So far in 2020, almost $13.2 billion in construction activity has been recorded in North Texas.
Many construction projects have been delayed or put on indefinite hold since the start of the pandemic.
Nationwide construction starts were down 15% through the first seven months of the year, according to Dodge Data.
Most of the U.S. decline was in public works projects.
“The July decline in construction starts should not be interpreted as a setback on the sector’s road to recovery,” Richard Branch Chief Economist for Dodge Data & Analytics, said in the latest report. “The gains in the nonresidential and residential sectors mirror the general overall improvements in the economy.
“The drop in public works could represent a settling back in activity following a solid spring in which some projects broke ground earlier than expected to take advantage of the fewer cars on the road during the COVID-19 shutdown in March and April,” he said. “While the recovery progresses, the Congressional impasse preventing the extension of enhanced unemployment insurance benefits and small business loans included in earlier fiscal support packages casts a pallor over the future trajectory for growth.”
During the first half of the year, the D-FW area was second only to New York City in total building starts.
North Texas hung onto its second place ranking even with this year’s construction setbacks caused by COVID-19.