Residential Building Falls 3 Percent in February, says Dodge

Window & Door
March 22, 2019

According to Dodge Data & Analytics, residential building in February was $299.3 billion (annual rate), down 3 percent as both sides of the housing market showed decreased activity.

“The pace of construction starts has been lackluster in early 2019,” says Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “For residential building, single-family housing remains sluggish, as affordability constraints continue to dampen demand even as mortgage rates have settled back, while a more cautious lending stance by banks may now be starting to restrain multifamily development.”

Single family housing in February receded 2 percent from January, continuing the modest slippage that emerged during last year’s fourth quarter. By geography, single-family housing performed as follows in February relative to January: the West, down 5 percent; the South Central, down 2 percent; the South Atlantic, down 1 percent; the Midwest, unchanged; and the Northeast, up 7 percent.

The February statistics produced a reading of 148 for the Dodge Index (2000=100), compared to 153 for January. The 150 average for the Dodge Index during the first two months of 2019 was the same as the 150 reading in December, which was at the low end of last year’s range of activity.