McGraw-Hill Construction released its 2009 Construction Outlook at the Outlook 2009 Executive Conference in Washington, D.C. According to the outlook, the level of construction starts for 2009 is expected to drop by 7% to $515 billion.
Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction, addressed 400 construction executives and professionals at the conference stating that home prices are continuing to drop and store construction will take a 30% hit.
The outlook stated that single-family housing will be down 2% in dollars and 4% in units, while multi-family housing will be down 6% in dollars and 8% in units.
Similar to 2008, commercial buildings will drop 12% in dollars and 15% in square feet as they continue to lose momentum. Institutional buildings will fall by 3% in dollars and 6% in square feet because funding from states and localities has decreased.
Manufacturing buildings take the biggest plunge at 32% in dollars after an exceptional 2008 lifted by the start of several oil refinery expansion projects.
Public works construction is expected to fall by 5% due to lack of funding from all levels. Electric utility construction surged to 55% in 2008, a near record, but is expected to retreat 30% in 2009.
More information can be found at www.construction.com.