Private Construction Spending Hits Cyclical High


NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending grew 1.8% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $484.7 billion. It was up by 6.4% from one year earlier and reached the highest level since August 2007.

Multifamily construction spending continued its record breaking pace to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $64.5 billion. It increased by 2.0% over the revised January estimates and was 10.7% higher since one year ago. Single-family construction spending also increased by 1.2%, continuing its steady growth since October 2016. Home improvements rose by 2.7% over the downwardly revised January estimates. On a year-over-year basis, spending on home improvements increased by 9.6%.

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, while new single-family construction spending is catching up at a slower pace.

Private nonresidential construction spending dipped 0.3% on a monthly basis, however, it was 7.5% higher than a year ago. The largest contribution to this year-over-year nonresidential spending gain was made by the class of office (24.8% increase), followed by educational (15.6% increase), and lodging (14.9% increase).

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