Residential construction spending rises in January

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multifamily construction

The Census Bureau’s report on construction spending shows that the value of residential construction put in place in January was up 1.3 percent from the revised level of the month before. Residential construction spending was up 13.4 percent year-over-year.

Multifamily construction spending flat

The reported value of total private residential construction put in place in January 2022 was $829.4 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This figure, which includes spending on both new construction and on improvements, was reported to be up $10.4 billion from December’s revised figure. However, the preliminary figure reported for December being revised upward by $8.7 billion. Therefore, the preliminary figure for January is actually up by $19.1 billion from the preliminary figure for December reported last month.

The value of new private construction of multifamily residential buildings put in place in January was reported to be $101.5 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was reported to be down $53 million from the revised level for December. However, the preliminary figure for December was revised upward by $311 million this month, so the preliminary figure for January is up $258 million from the preliminary figure for December reported last month. The value of multifamily housing construction put in place in January 2022 was 4.8 percent higher than the level of January 2021.

State and local governments were reported to have put $9.0 billion in multifamily residential construction in place in January on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis.

The value of new single-family residential construction put in place in January was $445.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was up 1.2 percent from the revised level for December and was up 15.4 percent from the level of January 2021.

The value of improvements to residential buildings put in place in January was reported to be $274.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was up 13.7 percent from the year-earlier level and was up 1.8 percent from the revised level for December. The Census Bureau does not separate out improvements for single-family and multifamily residential buildings.

Charting the data

The first 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 shows that the value of single-family housing put in place in January is still about 5.4 percent below the peak level it reached in February 2006 during the housing bubble. However, the value of multifamily housing put in place in January is 84 percent higher than the prior peak reached in December 2006.

The last chart shows the same data with the values normalized to 100 in January 2016. This allows the recent trends in the values of the three types of construction put in place to be more directly compared. In addition, the chart contains trend lines for both single-family and multifamily housing. The chart shows that the value of residential construction put in place was running below the long-term trend even before the pandemic. Single-family construction spending fell below trend in the summer of 2018 and multifamily construction spending fell below trend in the summer of 2019. While residential construction fell further at the start of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, it rapidly rebounded to exceed the trend line by the autumn of 2020.

multifamily construction spending

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