New year, new project starts. A lot of new project starts. Construction projects are expected to increase 5% in 2017, which is a welcome development as 2016’s new starts lagged sorely behind expectations – a measly 1% increase was seen in 2016.
Dodge Data & Analytics also expects to see large gains in single family homebuilding, commercial development, and institutional building. Unfortunately, multifamily development is expected to stagnate, as will utilities construction.
Interestingly, both 2015’s and 2016’s totals were skewed by only a handful of massive projects that kicked off in 2015, effectively acting as enormous outliers and altering both years. 2017 is expected to be far more “normal” in the sense that totals will not be skewed by a few projects (such as 2015’s $9 billion natural gas terminal project in Texas). This is also in part responsible for the decline in energy/utilities related building expected this year. 2015’s enormous projects are coming on-line, thus driving down the need for new construction in those industries.
While none of the new projects announced this year will need our products and services for some time, we remain excited about the positive prospects that 2017’s project starts may bring. Here’s to a great 2017!