+ Image Construction markets are off to a slow start in 2011 after falling 2% last year, according to McGraw-Hill Construction’s estimates for the dollar value of new construction starts in January. MHC estimates that total construction in the first month of the year was running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $423.4 billion, or 6% less than January 2010’s pace. The non-residential building market was the most sluggish, falling 13% off last year’s pace, while the homebuilding market was down 7%. “For total construction starts to register growth in 2011, it will require more upward movement from housing
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.