Washington, D.C.—Census data shows that total private residential construction spending rose 1.7% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $725.3 billion, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Total private residential spending was 23.3% higher than a year ago.
The NAHB said the monthly gains are largely attributed to the strong growth of spending on single-family and improvements. Single-family spending rose to a $389.9 billion annual pace in March, which was up by 2%. This is in line with the strong readings of single-family housing starts, despite rising lumber prices, the NAHB said. Remodeling spending inched up by 2% in March. Meanwhile, multi-family spending on construction went down by 0.3% in March, after a dip of 0.9% in February. However, spending on multi-family construction was 14.6% higher than a year ago, the NAHB said.
The NAHB construction spending index illustrates the solid growth in single-family construction and home improvement from the second half of 2019 to February 2020 before COVID-19 hit the U.S. economy and the quick rebounds since July 2020. New multi-family spending picked up the pace after slowing down from the second half of 2019, the NAHB said.
Private nonresidential spending decreased 0.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $444 billion and it was 7.4% lower than a year ago, according to the NAHB. The largest contribution to this month-over-month nonresidential spending decrease was made by the class of manufacturing ($0.9 billion), followed by transportation ($0.7 billion) and lodging ($0.5 billion), the NAHB added.