D-FW commercial construction edged higher in April

Commercial construction in North Texas kept the building market growing in April, while starts of new homes fell.

Dallas-Fort Worth nonresidential building starts were up 15% last month from a year ago, according to the latest report from Dodge Data & Analytics.

At the same time, residential building activity fell by 10% year-over-year, continuing a recent trend.

With the growth of commercial activity, total building starts for D-FW last month were 4% higher than a year earlier.

And through the first four months of the year, construction starts in the area are 10% higher than in the same period of 2021, according to Dodge Data. More than $12 billion in local construction projects have kicked off so far this year.

Nationwide construction starts rose 3% in April.

“The construction sector is seemingly shrugging off the fear of higher interest rates and a potential recession,” Richard Branch, Dodge’s chief economist, said in the latest report. “Many building sectors have made the turn from weakness to recovery as underlying economic growth and hiring are solid.

“With the pipeline of projects in planning continuing to expand, this trend should continue in the months to come,” he said. “However, the concern that the Federal Reserve will force the U.S. into recession later this year may thwart the momentum in construction starts.”

Most of the construction starts in the D-FW area this year have been for new industrial and apartment projects. And office building is beginning to rebound after a sharp decline during the pandemic.

Builders have cut back on single-family home starts in the area due to labor and supply chain restraints.

More than $28 billion in residential and commercial building starts were recorded in the D-FW area in 2021. New York City led the country with more than $39 billion in construction, according to Dodge Data’s estimates.