NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $522.2 billion in April, 0.7% lower than upwardly revised March estimates. The private residential construction spending slowed down after a strong start this year. However, it was still 16.7% higher than a year ago.
The monthly declines are largely attributed to the slowdown of private construction spending on both multifamily and home improvements. Multifamily construction spending fell 0.2% over the revised February estimates, but was 10.1% higher since a year ago. Spending on home improvements halted its increasing pace in April. On a year-over-year basis, home improvement spending rose by 32.3%. Single-family construction spending increased by 0.8%, continuing its steady growth since October 2016.
The NAHB construction spending index, which is shown in the graph below (the base is January 2000), illustrates the strong growth in new multifamily construction since 2010 and a more modest growth in single-family construction spending.
Private nonresidential construction spending slipped 0.6% on a monthly basis, however, it was 4.3% higher than a year ago. The largest contribution to this year-over-year nonresidential spending gain was made by the office class (14.8%), followed by commercial (13.5% increase), and communication (11.8% increase).