January Gains in Single-Family Construction Spending

NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $529.9 billion in January 2018, up by 0.3% after a decline of 0.5% in December 2017. Compared to the same month a year ago, total private residential spending increased 4.2%.

The monthly gains are largely attributed to the steady growth of spending on single-family and home improvements. Single-family construction spending rose 0.6% in January. This represents the eighth-straight month of spending increase after a dip in May 2017 and the highest level reached since October 2007. Remodeling spending inched up 0.2% in January. Meanwhile, multifamily construction spending slipped 1.3% after a strong growth in December 2017.

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 from 2010 to April 2017, and a steady growth in single-family construction and home improvement spending.

Spending on private nonresidential construction dropped 1.5% in January after surging 1.8% in the prior month. Private nonresidential construction spending was 1.1% lower than a year ago, driven by the declines in spending on power and manufacturing.



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