Private Residential Construction Spending Continues Its Steady Growth

Private residential construction spending reached the highest rate since November 2007. NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending for February increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $448 billion, up by 0.9% over January’s revised estimate. Meanwhile the nonresidential construction spending slipped 1.4% after a huge increase in January.

Within the private residential construction spending, single-family spending stood at $235 billion, up by 1.2% from last January estimate and 10.6% higher annually. Multifamily spending continued its strong growth and reached $59.7 billion, exceeding the January record of $59.2 billion. This was a 24.2% increase from the February 2015 estimate. Private construction spending on home improvements rose slightly to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $153 billion. Year-over-year, this adds up to a steady 6% increase. (Please see this analysis of recent data revisions for this series).

The NAHB-constructed spending index, which is shown in the graph below (the base is January 2000), highlights the record breaking gains by multifamily construction and steady growth in single-family construction spending. NAHB anticipates accelerating growth for single-family spending in 2016.

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The pace of total nonresidential construction spending retreated from a huge increase in the January estimate. It slipped down 1.4% on a monthly basis, but was 10% higher than the February 2015 estimate. The largest contribution to this year-over-year nonresidential spending gain was made by the class of lodging (30% increase), followed by office (40% increase) and highway and street (25% increase).

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