McGraw-Hill Construction (MHP) said construction starts in 2011 are expected to advance 8% to $445.5 billion, with single-family and multifamily starts leading the way. The prediction follows a 2% decline predicted for 2010. Single-family housing in 2011 will climb 27% in dollars and 25% in number of units to 565,000, and multifamily housing will rise 24% in dollars and 23% in units, according to the company’s 2011 Construction Outlook, released during a builder’s conference Friday in Washington, D.C. “While the economy is still facing headwinds, the stage is being set for construction to see modest improvement in 2011 from this year’s very weak activity,” said Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs at McGraw-Hill Construction, addressing nearly 400 construction executives and professionals. The company is a division of McGraw-Hill. “We’re turning the corner, slowly; 2011 will be the first year of renewed growth for overall construction activity, and 2010 becomes the final year of a very lengthy and unusual construction cycle.” The outlook predicted that commercial buildings will increase 16%, following a three-year decline, but said the levels of activity expected for stores, warehouses, offices and hotels in 2011 will still be quite weak by historical standards. The institutional building market will slip an additional 1% in 2011, retreating for the third straight year, but healthcare facilities category should see moderate growth. Manufacturing buildings will increase 9% in dollars and 11% in square feet while public works construction will drop 1% and electric utilities will slide 10%, according to the report's predictions. Click here to see more information on the outlook. Write to Kerry Curry. The author holds no relevant interests.