McGraw-Hill Construction reports the total value of construction contracts for the Houston area topped $680 million for May of this year. That’s down 11% from May of 2011. The report says commercial and other nonresidential construction fell by more than 50% year-over-year.
But Patrick Jankowski, vice president for research at the Greater Houston Partnership, says the picture may be nowhere near as grim as McGraw-Hill indicates.
“If you look at the data, if you look at what’s happened in Houston over the last twelve months, it looks pretty good. We’ve been averaging between $7.9 billion and about $8.2 billion in construction contracts over a moving period, so we’re actually doing fairly well.”
Jankowski says building permits for the City of Houston provide a more accurate measure of the health of the construction sector. Total building permits for May were worth nearly $485 million dollars, a more than 50% increase from a year earlier. Permits for nonresidential construction rose nearly 30% over the same period.