At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $404.9 billion, new construction starts in February fell 4% from the previous month, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. On a year-to-date basis, total construction starts during the first two months of this year were 9% below the first two months of 2010. That 9% decline includes a 21% drop in nonresidential buildings. However, that decline is skewed by comparison to 2010’s data, which included two massive projects totalling more than $4 billion.
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.