Total construction starts are expected to rise 6% in 2022, following a 12% increase in 2021, says Richard Branch, chief economist at Dodge Construction Network. Branch presented the 2022 Dodge Construction Outlook on Nov. 3.

The 2021 increase will bring total starts to $893 billion, with a rise to $946 billion in 2022.

Residential starts, strong throughout the pandemic, will continue to grow, but at a slower pace. Dodge expects single-family starts, measured in total units, to end this year 14% higher than in 2020, with a more modest 3% bump in 2022. Starts are up 16% in 2021 for multifamily housing, with another 2% increase predicted for 2022.

Commercial starts, a category that includes stores, offices, warehouses, hotels and parking, dropped 20% in 2020 amid the pandemic restrictions. As those ease, a 15% increase is expected for 2021, followed by an additional 12% jump in 2022.

A 10% gain in retail is expected for 2021, with a 14% increase in 2022. Branch noted that the retail sector has been boosted by the increase in multifamily housing in smaller cities and suburban areas.

Warehouse construction continues to “stagger the imagination,” said Branch, with a 36% increase in 2021, followed by another 13% anticipated gain in 2022. The hotel sector, which plummeted 51% in 2020, is expected to decline another 18% in 2021, before a recovery of 24% in 2022.

Industrial construction is up 5% for the year, with education staying flat and health care increasing 8%. An overall gain of 6% is expected in 2022. Total non-building starts are up 1% for this year. A 6% increase is slated for next year, but that sector is largely dependent on passage of the infrastructure bill, Branch said.