An expected drop in single-family home construction will pull down the 2007 construction market by 1 percent to $668 billion, according to an industry forecast.

The construction industry “no longer has single-family housing to bolster total construction,” according to Robert Murray, vice president of economic affairs and chief economist of McGraw-Hill Construction, which released the forecast at a recent conference.

The single-family construction market boomed from 2000-2005 and remained high until 2006, when it deflated at a faster rate than expected. “Single-family housing has fallen more steeply than what we had anticipated, and the correction is taking place faster,” said Murray.

Despite this 5 percent forecasted decrease in single-family housing, McGraw-Hill expects the construction industry to have several growth sectors. Among the construction market data in the report’s findings for 2007:

  • Institutional buildings will advance 7 percent in dollar volume and 4 percent in square footage.

  • Manufacturing building is expected to rise 14 percent from a lackluster 2006 performance.

  • Public works construction will grow 5 percent on top of the 10 percent increase in 2006 due to highway and bridge construction, as well as environmental projects.

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