Dallas -- Get ready for a year of ups and downs in construction, according to Sean Boyle, vice president marketing for Laticrete, who presented his projections for 2019 at Total Solutions Plus.

“The construction sector added about 80,000 new construction jobs, so that is a good sign, but there is a shortage of laborers,” Boyle said. “That in itself is going to curtail or limit growth because there are not enough bodies doing the work.”

The residential market is showing single-family new home construction starts up 1%, multifamily construction will be down 5-7%, and remodeling spending will be up 6-7%. He said while first-time buyers have some challenges, and millennials have student debt, the country’s low unemployment rate is helping to slow the slide. Multifamily construction is going to drop, he added.

Home remodeling spending trended up about 7.5% in 2018 and is forecasted to be up about 6% in 2019. “You should feel very good about remodeling residential remodeling expenditures,” Boyle said. “Remodeling is going to be the bright spot.”

While consumer confidence is up, Boyle said he is concerned about inflation, which he projects will rise due to energy costs rising, and will likely affect interest rates: “The price of homes existing homes has increased anywhere between 4-7% from last year, so that in itself has made home affordability a little bit harder.”

Commercial is doing better than residential, he reported. New commercial construction will be up 1% next year, and commercial renovations will increase +4%. He said the industry should expect to see 955 million square feet of new commercial construction.

For more information, visit laticrete.com.