Jul 22, 2020 | Dallas Morning News
With the pandemic putting the brakes on construction projects across the country, Dallas-Fort Worth still ranked third nationally for commercial and apartment building starts during the first half of 2020.
More than $3.8 billion of commercial and multifamily construction starts were recorded in the D-FW area by Dodge Data & Analytics.
Only New York City and Washington, D.C., had more building activity in the first half of the year.
Building starts fell in 18 of the 20 of the major metro areas Dodge Data surveyed. Nationwide starts were 22% lower than in the first six months of 2019.
The D-FW area’s 2% year-over-year construction decline was the smallest among the 20 largest markets the company surveyed.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and recession have devastated most local construction markets,” Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics, said in the new report. “Across the board, building projects have been halted or delayed with virtually no sector immune from damage.
“Construction starts have begun to increase from their April lows, and there is cautious optimism that as the year progresses construction markets around the country will begin a modest recovery,” he said. “However, the recent acceleration of COVID-19 cases in the South and West as well as the upcoming expiration of expanded unemployment insurance benefits from the CARES Act puts the recovery at significant risk and could undermine the construction sector’s ability to grow.”
The D-FW area’s commercial and apartment building starts were up 4% in the first half of 2019 but are well below the record more than $4.4 billion in building activity in the first half of 2018.
Dodge Data analysts said that North Texas multifamily starts were 8% higher than in the first half of 2019, “one of the few top metros to post a gain in this market.”