Business

New Construction Continues To Slow Down In Greater Houston

The construction industry is feeling the effect of the oil downturn.

Photo of downtown construction
Construction in Greater Houston is down 19 percent compared to last year.

Developers in Greater Houston started just under $1.5 billion worth of new buildings in September.

That’s a 24 percent drop from the same month a year ago, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.

Overall this year, new construction is down 19 percent compared to the first nine months of 2015.

Patrick Jankowski, an economist with the Greater Houston Partnership, said the construction industry is feeling the effects of the oil downturn.

“Construction is always the last to pick up when the economy starts to boom, it’s always the last to see the downturn when the economy starts to weaken,” he said. “So it’s not surprising.”

You wouldn’t know driving through downtown Houston. It seems like a new building is going up on every other block.

But construction on those started a few years ago and needs to be finished.

Houston won’t need any new office buildings for the next several years, Jankowski said.

And as for apartments, “Right now we have close to 18,000 apartment units under construction,” he said. “We’re going to get down to a pace where we may have maybe 3,000 or 4,000 on an annual basis being constructed.”

He said we should be seeing a lot fewer cranes 12 to 18 months from now.

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Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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