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Construction Industry Outlook for 2019

November 30, 2018

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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