Construction starts moved 37% higher from October to November, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $988.9 billion. The large percentage gain was not only a response to a particularly weak October, but also numerous massive projects that broke ground during the month. By major sector, nonresidential building starts gained 61% over the month, while nonbuilding starts moved 82% higher. Residential building starts were flat from October to November.
Nonbuilding construction increased 82% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $288.5 billion. Starts in the electric utility/gas plant led the way, however, removing the large gain in utility projects, nonbuilding starts rose 9%.
Nonresidential building gained 61% from October to November to $366.5 billion (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate) as several large projects got underway during the month. Manufacturing starts rose 782%, while institutional starts rose 27% and commercial starts moved 23% higher. Only two nonresidential building categories fell in November - hotels and healthcare.
Year-to-date through November, nonresidential building starts were 3% lower than a year earlier, while commercial building starts were up 3% with gains in office buildings, warehouses, and parking structures. Institutional starts were 6% lower through November with all major categories posting declines and manufacturing starts were down 15% through eleven months.
Residential building starts in November were essentially flat when compared to the previous month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $333.9 billion. Over the month, single family starts dropped 8%, offsetting a 20% gain in multifamily starts. --DDA