NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $523.1 billion in July, 0.8% up from upwardly revised June estimates. It was the third consecutive monthly increase after a dip in April. The total private residential construction spending was 11.6% higher than a year ago.
The monthly gains are largely attributed to the steady growth of spending on single-family construction and home improvement. Single-family construction spending stood at $264.1 billion, 0.8% up from the revised June estimate. Spending on improvements rose to $192.4 billion, up by 1.41% over last month, and was 16.5% higher since July 2016. Spending on multifamily construction slipped 0.8% after a decrease of 1.8% in June, but was 3.0% higher since a year ago.
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 and home improvement spending.
Private nonresidential construction spending dropped 1.7% on a monthly basis. It was 3.6% lower than a year ago. The largest contribution to this year-over-year nonresidential spending decline was made by the class of manufacturing (-15.7 %), followed by religious (-11.7%), and educational (-8.8%).