FOGGY FUTURE FORECAST
|McGraw-Hill Construction hosted industry forecasts at the Marriott in Las Colinas and the Aonn Center in Chicago last week (hat tip to our Windy City office for covering). Here's its economist Bob Murray, who offered less dire predictions for DFW than the Windy City.|
Less dire, yes, but out of habit we'll start with the bad news. In Texas, Bob says, deterioration of the state’s fiscal health will be a big issue, as sales tax revenues are down. Numbers show a mixed picture that the corner is being turned, but it’s not enough traction that recovery is certain. He says that won't happen this year. Commercial building starts were down 55% from 2008 to 2009. Yet, some bright spots include the $300 million Dallas Convention Center Hotel project that started this year.
McGraw-Hill economist Jennifer Coskren says Texas commercial construction was the poster child for a very bad 2009. She’s not expecting a repeat of the 80s (though we just read that Pee-wee Herman is making a comeback, so, let's check our facts), but property values, rents, and vacancies are not expected to make a comeback until 2011, at the earliest. Office was hit hardest, with construction sliding and Dallas vacancy creeping up to 22%.
More points a la Jennifer: