During the first 10 months of 2013, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis came in at $433.0 billion, up 4 percent from the same period a year ago. If the electric utility category is excluded from the year-to-date statistics, total construction starts for the first 10 months of 2013 would be up 13 percent.
The 4 percent gain was due to varied behavior by the three main construction sectors.
■ Nonresidential building year-to-date rose 6 percent, as the result of this pattern by segment – commercial building, up 11 percent; manufacturing building, up 50 percent; and institutional building, down 3 percent.
■ Residential building year-to-date climbed 26 percent, with single family housing up 28 percent and multifamily housing up 18 percent.
■ Nonbuilding construction year-to-date dropped 17 percent, with a steep 62 percent plunge for electric utilities more than offsetting a 5 percent gain for public works.
By region, total construction starts in the first 10 months of 2013 showed increases in three of the five major regions – the Northeast, up 19 percent; the Midwest, up 10 percent; and the West, up 6 percent.
Through the first 10 months of 2013, the dollar amount for the educational building category was still down 1 percent from the prior year, but the shortfall has been narrowing as 2013 has progressed.
During the first 10 months of 2013, the leading metropolitan areas for multifamily construction starts (ranked by dollar volume) were the following – New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Miami, and Los Angeles.
Total construction declines were reported in the South Central, down 1 percent; and the South Atlantic, down 5 percent. The South Atlantic slide reflected the comparison to the first 10 months of 2012 that included the start of two massive nuclear facilities. If electric utilities are removed from the year-to-date construction statistics in the South Atlantic, then total construction for that region in 2013 would be up 20 percent.