Rock Products

JUL 2015

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www.rockproducts.com ROCK products • July 2015 • 43 ECONOMICS eight multifamily projects valued each in excess of $100 million, with the larg- est being a $392 million project locat- ed in Long Island City, N.Y. Of these eight projects, four were locat- ed in the New York metropolitan area, with the other four located in San Jose, Calif., Los Angeles, Austin and Chicago. Single-family housing in May was un- changed from its April pace, as its pattern of very slight increases fol- lowed by flat activity continues. On a regional basis, single-family housing in May showed a 3 percent decline in the West, no change in the South Atlantic, 2 percent improvement in the South Central and Midwest, and a 7 percent rebound in the Northeast. Nonresidential Building Nonresidential building in May fell 28 percent to $208.1 billion (annual rate), pulling back after surging 58 percent in April. The manufacturing building category in April had provided a size- able boost, rising 513 percent as the result of an $8.1 billion petrochemical plant in Louisiana being entered as a construction start. While May did include the start of a $208 million HVAC manufacturing plant in Texas, the manufacturing building category plunged 94 percent in May relative to its exceptional April amount. If the manufacturing building category is excluded, nonresidential building in April would have advanced a more modest 9 percent, followed by a 12 percent increase in May. The commercial categories as a group increased 16 percent in May. Ware- house construction registered a sub- stantial 95 percent hike, supported by the start of a $207 million warehouse in Texas and a $90 million warehouse in South Carolina. Hotel construction in May climbed 90 percent after a weak April, and featured groundbreaking for such projects as the $342 million Re- sorts World & Casino (initial phase) in Las Vegas and the $196 million Westin hotel tower in Philadelphia. Store construction in May improved 7 percent, supported by the start of a $210 million shopping mall in Kapolei, Hawaii, and a $105 million shopping center in the Allentown, Pa., area. Office construction in May retreated 30 percent following an April that includ- ed $1.0 billion for the office portion of a high-rise at the Hudson Yards devel- opment in New York. May did include the start of several large office interior renovation projects, such as $150 mil- lion for work at the 10 Hudson Yards building in New York and $60 million for work at the Fan Pier site in Boston. The institutional building categories as a group increased 10 percent in May. Educational facilities, the largest non- residential building category by dollar volume, grew 8 percent. Major educa- tional facility projects that reached the construction start stage in May includ- ed a $140 million life science and engi- neering building at Boston University in Boston; a $90 million engineering building at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.; an $88 million en- gineering building at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La.; and $70 million for three building additions at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass. The healthcare facilities category regis- tered a strong 34 percent gain, aided by the start of the $750 million Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and a $200 million hospital in Ox- ford, Miss. The public buildings catego- ry rose 33 percent, helped by the start of a $95 million courthouse expansion in Waukegan, Ill., and a $66 million de- tention facility in Bismarck, N.D. On the negative side, the amusement category retreated 4 percent after a strong April, although May did include the start of the $149 million American Dream Water and Amusement Park in East Rutherford, N.J. Decreased activity was also reported for church construc- tion, down 6 percent; and transporta- tion terminal work, down 25 percent. The transportation terminal decline followed a strong April that featured several large projects, and May did in- clude $400 million for the start of two terminal upgrades at Los Angeles In- ternational Airport. Year-to-Date During the first five months of 2015, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were reported at $272.5 billion, up 25 percent from the same period a year ago. The current year has included the start of 12 massive projects valued each at $1 billion or greater, compared to five such projects during the corresponding period of 2014. If these projects valued at $1 billion or greater are excluded, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis would be up a more moderate 10 percent year-to-date. Through the first five months of 2015, the top five states for highway and bridge construction were Florida, Texas, California, New York and Illinois. States ranked six through 10 for highway and bridge construction during this time were Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, New Jersey and Indiana. Through the first five months of 2015, the top five metropolitan areas in terms of the dollar amount of multifamily starts were the following – New York, Miami, Washing- ton, D.C., Boston and Seattle. The 25 percent gain for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis for the first five months of 2015 was comprised of growth for all three major construction sectors. • Nonbuilding construction year-to-date climbed 70 percent, with electric utilities and gas plants, up 434 percent; and public works, up 11 percent. • Residential building year-to-date advanced 14 percent, with multifamily housing, up 24 percent; and single family housing, up 10 percent. • Nonresidential building year-to-date increased 8 percent, with manufacturing building, up 38 percent; institutional building, up 8 percent; and commercial build- ing, down 3 percent. By geography, total construction starts during the January-May period of 2015 showed this performance relative to last year – the South Central, up 77 percent; the Northeast, up 22 percent; the South Atlantic, up 14 percent; the Midwest, up 5 per- cent; and the West, up 2 percent.

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