Multifamily Construction Spending Hits Record High

Total private residential construction spending stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $433.2 billion in January, virtually unchanged from December’s upwardly revised rate of $433.1 billion. It was up 7.7% from one year earlier and the highest since November 2007.

The new construction spending estimates released by the Census Bureau this morning include significant upward revisions to the multifamily construction. As of January 2016, total multifamily spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $59.8 billion, exceeding the peak readings registered during the housing boom years. This also represents a 30% rise over a year ago.

Private single-family construction spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $230 billion, down by 0.2% from the revised December estimate but 6.6 percent higher than a year ago. Private construction spending on home improvements decreased slightly to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $143 billion. Year-over-year, this adds up to a modest 2% increase. (Please see this analysis of recent data revisions for this series).

NAHB’s Construction Spending Index, which is shown in the graph below (the base is January 2000), highlights the record breaking gains in multifamily construction spending. NAHB anticipates accelerating growth for single-family spending in 2016.


The pace of total private nonresidential construction spending was up by 1% on a monthly basis in January, and posted an annual increase from the revised January 2015 estimate of 11%. The largest contribution to this year-over-year gain was made by the class of lodging (37% increase), followed by amusement and recreation (29% increase) and communication (27% increase).


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