May 2, 2012 (Shirley Allen)
Private residential construction spending edged higher in March as builders increased spending to build single-family homes while multi-family spending declined slightly according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Spending for private residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $244.1 billion in March, up 0.7 percent from a revised estimate of $242.5 billion in February.
Total monthly spending by builders for both residential and non-residential private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $531.9 billion, up from the revised estimate of $528.1 billion in February.
The estimate for private residential construction spending in February was revised downward almost $4.0 billion, turning February’s reported 0.4 percent increase into a 1.6 percent decline, while the estimate for all private construction, which had been reported as a 1.3 percent decline, was revised upward by $1.0 billion, leaving February with a 0.6 percent decline.
Builders spent 7.4 percent more on private residential construction in March than they did a year ago when $227.3 billion was spent, while the total amount builders spent for all private construction was 11.5 percent higher than the $477.2 billion spent in March of last year.
Construction spending for new private single-family homes increased 3.8 percent from February to March with builders spending a seasonally adjusted $116.9 billion in March. The estimate for February was revised upward from $111.5 billion to $112.6 billion.
Single-family home construction spending was 10.3 percent higher than in March of 2011, when builders spent $105.9 billion on building new single-family homes.
Multi-family private construction spending was 3.1 percent lower than in February, falling to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $16.6 billion. The estimate for February was revised downward from $17.2 billion to $17.1 billion.
Multi-family construction spending was 23.3 percent higher than in March of last year, when builders spent a seasonally adjusted $13.5 billion on multi-family dwellings.
The remainder of the private residential construction spending in March, $110.6 billion, was money spent for any type of construction to an existing structure ranging from remodeling to additions to swimming pools to replacement of major systems such as HVAC systems. This was a decline from a downwardly revised $112.7 billion in February but up from the $107.9 billion spent in March of 2011.
Tags: residential construction spending, single-family homes, multi-family dwellings, seasonally adjusted annual rate, remodeling, additions