February 19, 2013
By Stephanie West

Residential Starts Rise 54 Percent; Public Works and Non-Residential Starts Slip
Sparked by a sharp increase in new residential projects, New York City construction starts reached $16.1 billion in 2012, a 5 percent increase from 2011, according to a New York Building Congress analysis of McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge construction data. 

The data used in this report encompass all project starts between 2008 and 2012, including brand new construction as well as alterations and renovations to existing structures.  The data reflect the total estimated value of each initiated project through the entire period of construction.
Residential construction starts reached $5.1 billion in value in 2012, a 54 percent increase from 2011, when construction starts reached $3.3 billion, and more than double the total ($2.3 billion) for 2010.  The residential sector, however, remains 14 percent down from 2008 when $5.9 billion in housing projects commenced.
It was another down year, however for the public works sector, which includes all government “non-building” construction starts, including roads, bridges, water systems and other infrastructure. Construction starts in this area declined 12 percent, from $2.4 billion in 2011 to $2.1 billion in 2012.  Starts in this sector have declined in each of the past four years and are down 62 percent from 2008, when public starts reached $5.7 billion. 
The non-residential sector, which includes offices, hotels, schools, hospitals, transit stations, power plants and other institutional buildings, also fell.  Construction starts in this sector declined 7 percent – from $9.6 billion in 2011 to $8.9 billion in 2012.
“The residential construction sector has gained considerable steam over the past year and a half,” said New York Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson.  “In five of the past six quarters, residential construction starts have topped $1 billion in value.  This is a dramatic turnaround from the period between 2009 and the second quarter of 2010, when we witnessed a string of 10 consecutive quarters in which housing starts failed to hit the $1 billion mark.”


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