The US Census Bureau, together with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has announced that privately owned housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.093 million in July 2014. This is 21.7% higher than in July 2013 and 15.7% higher than the revised June 2014 estimate of 945 000. Single-family housing starts increased by 8.3% from 606 000 in June 2014 to 656 000 in July. Meanwhile, single-family housing completions were up 6.2% on the revised June rate to reach 635 000. Privately owned housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 841 000 in July 2014, compared to 811 000 in June 2014 and 779 000 in July 2013. Finally, single-family units authorised by building permits reached 640 000, up slightly on June’s 634 000. Permits for privately owned housing units were also higher than the previous month, rising by 8.1% from the revised June rate of 973 000 to 1.052 million. This figure is 7.7% higher than the revised July 2013 estimate.
The New York Building Congress’ midyear analysis estimates that overall construction spending will reach US$31.5 billion in 2014, up 10% from US$28.5 billion in 2013. Construction employment is also forecast to increase, rising by 1.5% y/y to 122 700.
The improvement in construction spending has been attributed to an expected 50% increase in residential spending. In 2013, residential construction spending came in at US$6.8 billion. The forecast figure for 2014 is US$10.2 billion. However, the Building Congress expects non-residential construction spending to fall to US$7.8 billion this year, compared to US$8 billion in 2013.
“At this point in the City’s economic recovery, we had hoped for better results in the non-residential sector,” said Richard T. Anderson, Building Congress President. The good news, here, however, is that a number of major institutions, such as Columbia and NYU, are poised to move forward with major expansion projects, and millions of square feet of new office development are currently on the drawing board at the World Trade Center and the Hudson Yards district.”