Multifamily construction spending rises in December

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multifamily construction spending

The Census Bureau’s report on construction spending shows that the value of multifamily residential construction put in place in December was up 3.2 percent month-over-month. Spending on single-family fell for the 8th month in a row while spending on improvements eked out a small increase.

Multifamily spending leads the way

The reported value of total private residential construction put in place in December 2022 was $857.2 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This figure, which includes spending on both new construction and on improvements, was reported to be down $2.8 billion from November’s revised figure despite November’s spending being revised downward by $8.1 billion in this month’s report. Residential construction spending in December was up 1.7 percent year-over-year.

After hovering in the $100 billion range since late 2020, the value of new private construction of multifamily residential buildings put in place has risen over the last few months.  In December it was reported to be $120.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was up $3.80 billion from the revised (+$6.4 billion) level for November. The value of multifamily housing construction put in place in December 2022 was 20.7 percent higher than the level of December 2021.

The recent increase in multifamily residential construction spending may indicate that the record number of multifamily units currently under construction are being completed, but this surge is not reflected in the number of unit completions identified in the Census Bureau’s New Residential Construction report. That report said the number of unit completions in December in buildings with 5 or more units was down 12 percent for the month but up 26 percent year-over-year.

In addition to the private construction spending, state and local governments were reported to have put $9.2 billion in residential construction in place in December on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis.

The value of new single-family residential construction put in place in December was $394.9 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was down $9.0 billion (2.3 percent) from the revised (-$1.5 billion) level for November and was down 14.7 percent from the level of December 2021.

The value of improvements to residential buildings put in place in December was reported to be $363.0 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was up 20.4 percent from the year-earlier level and was up 0.7 percent from the revised (-$12.9 billion) level for November. The Census Bureau does not separate out improvements for single-family and multifamily residential buildings.

Charting the data

The following chart shows the value of residential construction put in place each month since January 2012. The chart illustrates the recent rise in the value of multifamily residential construction put in place as well as the continued decline for single-family.

multifamily residential 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.