This year’s green Christmas has been a good one for property developers. The market is surging and mild winter temperatures are believed to be contributing to this upswing. Although there were some periods of cold in some areas early in the month, temperatures in December were the mildest recorded since 2016 across the United States.
Housing Starts Increased in December
Residential real estate projects increased by almost 17% in the last month of 2019. An unprecedented 1.61 million units were started in December, and this is the largest amount of activity recorded since 2006. December is often a time for growth in construction activity because developers want to get projects underway before new laws passed by legislatures come into effect at the beginning of the calendar year in January.
Mild Temps Boost Construction
This year’s higher than ever numbers were also affected by mild weather conditions. NASA has announced that 2019 was the second warmest year on record, and this has allowed construction projects to increase. The start rate for single-family homes was up 11.2% for a total of 1.06 units begun in December. Despite wetter weather in some parts of the country, this was still a very good year for housing starts.
Apartment Construction Sees Biggest Rise
Apartments and multi-unit buildings saw an even bigger rise in December. Multi-unit construction starts climbed by almost 30%, which is the largest increase in 33 years. The upward movement in this market is expected to continue as developers push to increase units to meet the growing demand for more multi-unit properties in large cities, particularly in California and other parts of the West Coast. While some people wished for snow for the Christmas season, the milder temperatures were a gift under the tree for real estate and construction companies. Both the mild winters and increased housing starts are expected to continue.