The value of new construction starts slipped 2% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $575.2 billion, it was reported by McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Both nonresidential building and housing settled back from their November pace, while nonbuilding construction held steady.
For the full year 2004, total construction climbed 10% to $582.9 billion. This follows a 5% gain in 2003, and marks the largest annual increase since the 10% rise back in 1999. "The year 2004 was led by further growth for single family housing, as low mortgage rates continued to support strong homebuyer demand," stated Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction.