Industry leaders and economists who contributed to the 2019 Dodge Construction Outlook predict that total construction starts in 2019 will increase to over $808 billion from this year’s estimated $806.8 billion. Experts see this small change as an indicator that the economy is in a tug of war between recent growth stimuli (e.g., tax cuts) and emerging risks (e.g., rising interest rates). Here are some more specific predictions:
- Single-family housing—Experts predict a 3 percent decline in homebuyer demand resulting from higher mortgage rates and reduced tax advantages for homeowners.
- Multifamily housing—Although demand in this area remained steady in 2018, it is expected to decline by 6 percent next year.
- Commercial building—A 3 percent decline is expected for 2019, as a slowing economy leads to an increase in vacancies.
- Institutional building—Although airport and amusement-related projects are predicted to remain steady, educational facilities and health care projects should see an increase in construction starts.
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