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Metro Houston’s construction starts totaled $17.8 billion in the 12 months ending August ’19, down 15.1 percent from $20.9 billion for the comparable period in ’18, according to the latest data from Dodge Data & Analytics. Nonresidential activity fell 18.3 percent to $8.2 billion, while residential activity decreased 12.1 percent to $9.6 billion. The 12-month total peaked at $30.9 billion in February ’15, the height of the chemical plant construction boom. Year-to-date, construction starts were down 32.1 percent from $15.5 billion in August ’18 to $10.6 billion for the same period in ’19.
Construction starts were down in August ’19, falling 16.0 percent from $1.5 billion in August ’18 to $1.3 billion in August ’19. Both nonresidential and residential construction starts fell, with nonresidential sinking 24.5 percent and residential decreasing 11.3 percent. Dodge did not report what caused the respective decrease in construction activity, although the August ’19 total of $1.3 billion is in line with the historic five-year average of $1.5 billion per month.
Construction activity in August ’19 included Emancipation Center One, an Affordable Housing Operations Center. The $23-million, 5-story office building will serve as Houston’s first central headquarters for the city’s affordable housing programs. Other construction included a groundbreaking by M.D. Anderson, which is expanding the size of its Proton Therapy Center. The expansion will grow the center by 160,000 square feet. Residential construction activity of note in August included a luxe condo project in Upper Kirby. The condo, Westmore, will be a seven-story midrise with 33 residential units, including four penthouses.
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
Construction starts in Houston totaled $1.3 billion in August '19