NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending rose 1.0% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $729.2 billion. Total private residential construction spending was 29.7% higher than a year ago.
The monthly gains are largely attributed to the strong growth of spending on multifamily and single family construction. Multifamily construction spending rose 1.9% in April, continuing the upward trend since May 2020. Single-family construction spending was up 1.3% to a 396.3 billion annual pace in April. Housing demand remains strong, despite the rising costs (especially lumber prices) challenging the housing production. Remodeling spending inched up by 0.3% in April, after an increase of 3.6% in March.
The NAHB construction spending index, which is shown in the graph below (the base is January 2000), illustrates the solid growth in single-family construction and home improvement from the second half of 2019 to February 2020, before the COVID-19 hit the U.S. economy, and the quick rebounds since July 2020. New multifamily construction spending has picked up the pace after a slowdown from the second half of 2019.
Private nonresidential construction spending decreased 0.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $451.4 billion. And it was 4.8% lower than a year ago. The largest contribution to this month-over-month nonresidential spending decrease was made by the class of power ($2.0 billion), followed by transportation ($0.8 billion), and amusement and recreation ($0.3 billion).