So how is San Diego County’s construction activity tracking with year-ago numbers?
The latest figures from research firm Dodge Data & Analytics show that the value of the region’s construction starts in the first quarter tracked 30 percent ahead of the year-ago period, topping $942.7 million.
Based on building permits pulled in the January-to-March period, the increase was sparked largely by a 54 percent year-over-year rise in residential projects, which totaled more than $559.3 million.
Non-residential project starts were up 6 percent, at just under $383.4 million.
The data tracks new construction, renovations and expansions, with the residential category including single-family and multifamily housing. The non-residential category includes most non-housing projects, such as office, retail, hotel, industrial, education and government buildings.
Though many experts have noted that growth in the local supply of affordable residential units – houses and apartments – is still not nearly keeping up with demand, the first-quarter numbers indicate a general continuation of construction patterns seen in 2016.
San Diego County saw overall construction starts rise 43 percent in 2016 over 2015, with projects topping $4.75 billion. However, that was boosted largely by a 96 percent year-over-year rise in non-residential projects, while the residential category grew by just 6 percent for the year.
Dodge Data reported in February that San Diego County ranked at No. 20 among the nation’s 20 largest markets for the value of commercial and multifamily construction starts during 2016.