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Single-Family, Overall Construction Spending on Uptick

Residential construction spending was up nearly 2 percent in February--hitting a seasonally adjusted total of $490.9 billion for the month. As a segment, single-family construction spending increased too, jumping 1.2 percent over the month and 3.4 percent over the year.

According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, residential construction rose from $482.2 billion in January to $490.9 billion in February. One year earlier, residential construction was at $462.4 billion—a difference of more than 6 percent.

Single-family construction spending rose from $254.4 billion in January to $257.5 billion in February. In February 2016, single-family spending was at just $248.9 billion, marking a 3.4 percent jump over the year.

Spending on multi-family construction also rose, jumping from $63.2 billion in January to $64.4 billion in February. These numbers reflect a 2 percent rise for the month and a 10.6 percent rise for the year. According to the National Association of Home Builders, this is a "record breaking pace." Multi-family construction has been on the steady incline since 2010, the NAHB stated in an Eye on Housing blog post. Single-family construction spending is "catching up," the post said, but at a slower pace.

Census data showed that in total, construction spending for the month of February was $1,192.8 billion--nearly 1 percent higher than in January and 3 percent higher than a year previous. The first two months of 2017 have marked a 3-percent jump since the same period of 2016, the Census' report stated.

According to FX Street writer Mike Shedlock, though the numbers are up this month, they don’t quite represent construction growth.

“Construction spending, up 0.8 percent in February,” he wrote, “was a bit weaker than the Bloomberg Econoday Consensus estimate of 1.0 percent. However, the Census Department revised January from -1.0 percent to -0.4 percent, so the report was a bit stronger than it appears on the surface.”In addition to jumps in both single- and multi-family construction, the NAHB stated that spending on home improvements was up, too, rising 2.7 percent over January and nearly 10 percent over the year.

Read the full report at Census.gov.

About Author: Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer and editor based in Fort Worth, Texas. She has worked for various newspapers, magazines, and publications across the nation, including The Dallas Morning News and Addison Magazine. She has also worked with both the Five Star Institute and REO Red Book, as well as various other mortgage industry clients on content strategy, blogging, marketing, and more.

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