The number of commercial and multifamily construction starts in New York during the first half of the year far outpaced activity in every other city, including second-ranked Miami, according to a report released Wednesday by Dodge Data & Analytics.
Contractors broke ground on $17.3 billion worth of projects in New York City from January to June — up a whopping 72% from the same time last year — and on $3 billion worth in Miami, 38% more than during the first half of 2014.
Also in the Top 5 were Washington, DC, with $2.4 billion worth of projects — a 15% dip from a year ago; Boston, with $22 billion, up 21%; and Seattle, with $2.1 billion in starts, 49% more than last year.
All told, commercial and multifamily starts, including stores, warehouses, office buildings, hotels, service stations, and apartment buildings and condominiums, totaled $73.2 billion during the first half of the year — up 13% from a year ago.
That growth is likely to continue, Robert A. Murray, Dodge Data & Analytics’ chief economist, said in a press release, despite what he called a “tepid” expansion of the overall economy.
The reason: “Commercial and multifamily development continues to be a prime focus of the investment community in its search for yield,” he said.
Still, the number of commercial buildings breaking ground pales in comparison with the peak volume of a decade ago, even though those starts have seen double-digit gains over the past four years, Murray said. Meanwhile, multifamily building is so brisk that some worry that cities — like New York — are getting overbuilt.