Non-residential Construction Jumps 50 Percent in 2011

Non-residential construction jumped 50 percent in 2011. The non-residential construction market was aided by the start of the Allegheny Ludlum Brackenridge Mill and a resilient regional economy in 2011. Because of the ATI project contracting was expected to rise considerably over the volume of 2010. But a variety of positive factors pushed construction higher than expected. 

Non-residential contracting totaled $3.73 billion in 2011, up sharply from $2.5 billion in 2010. It’s worth noting that volume in 2010 was inflated by the USSteel Clairton Works project, which accounted for roughly 20 percent of the annual total. Mainstream commercial activity increased by approximately half billion dollars, with the number of projects increasing significantly as well.

 The activity in the fourth quarter of 2011 can be a real boost going into this year, especially since architects and engineers remained busy going into January. Hospital construction, new office and apartment construction and a whole spectrum of projects related to the expansion of natural gas in the region should push construction to nearly $4 billion in 2012. 

New housing construction remained stuck in low gear. The total number of homes started in 2011 was 2,853, up 2.7 percent from 2010, which the lowest for any year since we began tracking activity in 1994. Permits for detached homes fell 14.1 percent to 1,656, but a 40 percent increase in attached housing – to 1,197 units – offset that decline.

 We were surprised by the decline in traditional single family homes. Our forecast was for a ten percent increase but the hangover from the rush to beat the sprinkler mandate was steeper than expected. Going into 2012, however, we are seeing the first legitimate signs of a recovery in a relative boom in apartment construction. Our forecast is for attached and multi-family to virtually double in 2012, with improved credit conditions and pent-up demand pushing single family detached volume back to the 2,000-unit neighborhood. The forecast is for overall housing permits in 2012 will reach 4,000 units for the first time since 2007.

 The totals listed below represent the number of new housing units for which building permits were issued, excluding mobile homes and elderly care complexes.  The top areas were: 

Municipality

#SFD

#SFA

Total

Single-Family Detached      
Pittsburgh

122

377

499

PetersTownship

84

0

84

AdamsTownship

77

62

139

SouthFayetteTownship

71

35

106

CranberryTownship

66

123

189

PineTownship

62

19

81

Jefferson Hills

61

3

64

NorthHuntingdonTownship

56

4

60

MoonTownship

47

9

56

NorthFayetteTownship

42

50

92

       
Single-Family Attached      
Pittsburgh

122

377

499

CranberryTownship

66

123

189

CollierTownship

15

65

80

AdamsTownship

77

62

139

Plum

36

62

98

       
Total Pittsburgh MSA 2011

1,656

1,197

2,853

Total Pittsburgh MSA 2010

1,927

851

2,778

% Change

-14.1%

40.7%

2.7%

       
By County

SFD

SFA

Total

Allegheny

778

784

1562

Beaver

124

35

159

Butler

229

231

460

Fayette

83

6

89

Washington

227

103

330

Westmoreland

215

35

250

 

 

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