Some Good News for the North Texas Construction Industry

Ran across these stories today:

Commercial real estate outlook improving

Commercial property lending coming back to life

A few highlights from the articles:

– North Texas commercial real estate experts expect further recovery next year and say they hope the market will be mostly righted by 2012.

– Petersen predicted “moderate economic growth next year” for the Dallas-Fort Worth area

– “The commercial mortgage-backed securities market has roared back to life,” he said. “And some community banks have also stepped up.”

– commercial property and apartment lending was up by almost a third in the most recent quarter, and the biggest jump–more than 100 percent–was for industrial buildings, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

– “If you are a developer, by the end of 2011 you need to think about building.”

– With retail construction at a virtual standstill, merchants are slowly filling up empty space – even sites that might have once been passed over. “We are filling up centers today that we couldn’t fill up in better times,”


Beyond the Dallas Morning News stories the ABC is showing the south’s BCI (Back Log Indicator) as increasing by .79 months year on year (from 5.76 to 6.55 months).  You can see the full report here.   Of course, they take the point of view that it’s falling from the July number, but I think the last few quarters are artificially inflated by all the stimulus  projects.

June Commercial Construction Contracts Down 51%

Ran across this piece of news today: Dallas Commercial Construction Contracts Fall Again in June

So is DFW just lagging the rest of the country on commercial construction?  Down 31% first quarter, Down 10% in May and now 51% for June.  Not a promising direction.

AGC – Metro Area Construction Job Report

I saw this headline pop into my RSS Reader: Houston Dropped 18,400 Construction Jobs in 12 Months ending May 2010 and was pretty amazed at the size of the drop for Houston.   So that got me curious on how the construction employment numbers are looking for our area.  In Dallas we shed 12,900 jobs year on year ending May 2010.  Percentage wise that is a bit worse than Houston (Dallas-11%, Houston-10%).

I thought I would dig a little deeper since the AGC has all the reports sitting right here and see what the trend looks like for the Dallas area.

I would say it doesn’t look great, but the last few months at least show a bit of a bottom.  Let me know what you think, does it look like the construction projects are continuing to drop, maintaining its level, or actually getting better in the DFW area?”

AGC Dallas-Plano-Irving Division employment numbers