Construction Forecast Surveys: Markets Will Slow in 2019

Summary

  • Construction starts are set to increase just 0.2% in the coming year, says Dodge Chief Economist Robert Murray.

  • Material prices also are expected to remain at a higher rate through 2019.

  • An FMI Corp. market forecast predicts next year’s total construction put-in-place to increase 5.6% to $1.4 trillion, roughly the same as this year’s escalation of 5.5%. Its outlook also calls for an increase of 6.2% in non-residential construction, up from last year’s 5.3% rise.

  • Housing will experience a 2% downturn in 2019, with multifamily housing dropping 6% and single family construction staying flat.

  • PCA forecasts a 2.4% boost in public works in 2019, followed by smaller bumps of 1.2% and 0.2% in 2020 and 2021, respectively. 

  • Association (ARTBA) reports a 4.6% increase in highway work in 2018, to be followed by a 4.9% increase in 2019. After a 2.2% drop this year, bridge work is expected to increase 1.6% in 2019.

  • In 2019, overall commercial starts will drop 3%, with a 6% decline in the hotel sector  generating the largest loss.

  • Institutional building is expected to rise 3% in 2019, following a 1% increase in 2018.