McGraw-Hill Construction recently updated its forecast for residential construction starts in the four-state region.

The volume of new residential construction project starts in the four-state Southeast Construction is likely to measure only $18.9 billion by the end of 2009, according to the latest information from McGraw-Hill Construction, the magazine’s publisher.

If that forecast proves accurate, that would be the lowest dollar volume in more than 15 years. In that time period, the previous low was $24.7 billion, recorded in 1995. It would also be well below the region’s annual average for the 2004-2008 period, of roughly $68.6 billion.

The latest estimate is also considerably below what McGraw-Hill Construction had predicted in the January Outlook that Southeast Construction published earlier this year. At that time, the company had predicted that residential construction would tally slightly above $31 billion.

The state-by-state forecasts for residential project starts are as follows: Florida - $7.3 billion; Georgia - $4 billion; North Carolina - $4.8 billion; and South Carolina - $2.8 billion.

All of those state forecast totals are well below the average volume experienced by each during the preceding five-year period. For instance, for the period between 2004 and 2008, Florida had experienced an average annual total of about $34 billion in new residential projects.

McGraw-Hill Construction
Residential Construction Starts (Billions of Dollars)
  Average Annual Starts Forecast
  1994-1998 1999-2003 2004-2008 2009
Southeast Region 29.0 23.2 68.6 18.9
Florida 12.7 10.8 34.0 7.3
Georgia 7.0 10.4 13.1 4.0
North Carolina 6.6 10.4 14.4 4.8
South Carolina 2.6 4.4 7.1 2.8