Residential construction spending rises in November

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new residential construction

The Census Bureau’s report on construction spending shows that the value of residential construction put in place in November was up 0.9 percent from the revised level of the month before. Residential construction spending was up 16 percent year-over-year.

Multifamily construction spending is a soft spot

The reported value of total private residential construction put in place in November 2021 came in at $796.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This figure, which includes spending on both new construction and on improvements, was reported to be up $7.2 billion from October’s revised figure. However, the preliminary figure reported for October was revised upward by $14.5 billion, so the preliminary figure for November is actually up by $21.6 billion from the preliminary figure for October reported last month.

The value of new private construction of multifamily residential buildings put in place in November was reported to be $100.0 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was reported to be down $341 million from the revised level for October. However, the preliminary figure for October was revised upward by $225 million this month. The value of new multifamily housing construction put in place in November 2021 was 9.6 percent higher than the level of November 2020.

State and local governments were reported to have put $7.0 billion in multifamily residential construction in place in November on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis.

The value of new single-family residential construction put in place in November was $421.0 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was up 1.2 percent from the revised level for October and was up 19.4 percent from the level of November 2020.

The value of improvements to residential buildings put in place in November was reported to be $275.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was up 14.4 percent from the year-earlier level and was up 0.9 percent from the revised level for October. The Census Bureau does not separate out improvements for single-family and multifamily residential buildings.

Charting the data

The chart, below, shows the history of new private residential construction spending since January 2000 for single-family housing, multifamily housing and residential improvements. It also shows a trendline for single-family construction based on the relatively steady growth in the value of construction put in place between 2013 and 2018.

residential construction spending

The chart illustrates the relative magnitudes of spending on the three different types of residential construction. New multifamily construction spending is by far the smallest among the three categories. While spending on the other categories of residential construction is continuing to grow, the value of new multifamily construction put in place each month has been nearly unchanged since June.

The report from the Census Bureau also includes information on spending on other types of construction projects. The full report can be found here.