McGraw-Hill predicts NC construction contracts decline


McGraw-Hill Construction’s economists¬†predict that North Carolina will see the volume of its construction contracts shrink again in 2012, by 9 percent, and total roughly $13.2 billion. That would be on the heels of 2011’s 2 percent overall decline, when roughly $14.5 billion in new contracts moved ahead, reports ENR Southeast Construction.

Last year, both building markets fell: residential by 5 percent for a total of $5.7 billion in new contracts; and nonresidential by 16 percent, for $4.5 billion in new work. Unfortunately for commercial building contractors, the market is only looking down, according to McGraw-Hill. The company expects the nonresidential sector to drop 6 percent further in 2012.

Residential is looking up, though, and is expected to improve by 7 percent overall. In Raleigh, for example, a team of New York and Atlanta developers announced plans to build the Crest at Brier Creek apartment complex, valued at $37 million. The big downturn is in the nonbuilding, or infrastructure, category. Here, McGraw-Hill projects a 33 percent downturn from the $4.4 billion in new contracts that were initiated in 2011.

Steve Stouthamer, executive vice president and general manager with Skanska USA in Raleigh, still sees trying times overall. Wake County Public Schools has a few projects moving forward, he says, “a good sign.”

But the Raleigh-Durham area, known for its universities, is delivering “very few” higher-education opportunities for contractors, he adds. “Opportunities are out there,” Stouthamer added, “but to a far less extent than the 2004-2008 timeframe.”¬† Read More.