August Gains for Private Residential Construction Spending

NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that private residential construction spending rose 0.6% in August. It is the fourth consecutive increase since May 2023, standing at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of $879.9 billion. However, total private residential construction spending is still 3.1% lower compared to a year ago.

The total construction monthly increase is attributed to more spending on single-family and multifamily construction. Spending on single-family construction rose 1.7% in August after an increase of 2.7% in July. Compared to a year ago, spending on single-family construction was 10.6% lower. Multifamily construction spending inched up 0.6% in August and was 24% over the August 2022 estimates, largely due to the strong demand for rental apartments. Private residential improvement spending decreased 1.9% in August and was almost 2% lower compared to a year ago.

Keep in mind that construction spending reports the value of property put-in-place. Per the Census definition: The “value of construction put in place” is a measure of the value of construction installed or erected at the site during a given period. The total value-in-place for a given period is the sum of the value of work done on all projects underway during this period, regardless of when work on each individual project was started or when payment was made to the contractors. For some categories, published estimates represent payments made during a period rather than the value of work done during that period.

The NAHB construction spending index, which is shown in the graph below (the base is January 2000), illustrates how construction spending on single-family has slowed since early 2022 under the pressure of supply-chain issues and elevated interest rates. Multifamily construction spending has had solid growth in recent months, while improvement spending has slowed since mid-2022. Before the COVID-19 crisis hit the U.S. economy, single-family and multifamily construction spending experienced solid growth from the second half of 2019 to February 2020, followed by a quick post-covid rebound since July 2020.


Spending on private nonresidential construction was up 19.7% over a year ago. The annual private nonresidential spending increase was mainly due to higher spending on the class of manufacturing category ($78.7 billion), followed by the power category ($5.53 billion).

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One thought on “August Gains for Private Residential Construction Spending

  1. Increasing investments in residential construction projects indicate a buoyant market, potentially encouraging lenders to provide more construction loans. This growth reflects confidence in the housing market, likely leading to easier access to financing for builders and developers, stimulating further construction activity.

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