After stalled projects and uncertainties due to COVID plagued the construction industry in 2020, commercial and multifamily construction starts bounced back in 2021, according to Dodge Construction Network.
Commercial and multifamily construction starts increased 16% nationwide in 2021. But starts remain below 2019 levels, indicating that the sector has not fully recovered from the impact of the pandemic.
In the top 20 metro areas, commercial and multifamily starts were 5% below the level recorded in 2019, and national commercial and multifamily starts were just 2% below the 2019 level. Larger metro regions have lagged other areas as demand for construction shifted away from denser urban zones.
In the top 10 metro areas, commercial and multifamily starts were 9% below their 2019 levels, while starts in the metro areas ranked 11-20 were up 5% from 2019. This shows that in 2021, smaller, less dense metropolitan areas became increasingly popular.