Multifamily construction spending ticks higher in December

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multifamily residential construction spending

The Census Bureau’s report on construction spending said that the value of multifamily residential construction put in place in December was up 0.3 percent from the revised level of the month before. Spending on single-family residential construction was reported to rise 4.6 percent while spending on improvements was up 1.7 percent.

The value of total private residential construction put in place in December 2023 was reported to be $911.7 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This figure, which includes spending on both new construction and on improvements, was reported to be up $13.0 billion month-over-month. This is on top of a $2.0 billion upward revision to November’s figure. Residential construction spending in December was reported to be up 6.8 percent year-over-year.

Multifamily construction spending off its high

The value of new private construction of multifamily residential buildings put in place in December was reported to be $135.9 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was up $378 million from the revised level for November. However, the November figure was revised lower by $76 million, so the preliminary multifamily construction spending figure reported this month is only $302 million, or 0.2 percent, higher than the preliminary figure for November reported last month. The value of multifamily housing construction put in place in December 2023 was 11.9 percent higher than the level of December 2022.

By comparison, the Census Bureau’s New Residential Construction report said the number of unit completions in December in buildings with 5 or more units rose 11.1 percent from the month before. Completions were 33.6 percent higher than their year-earlier level.

Governments were reported to have put $10.4 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 $427.4 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was up $6.7 billion from the revised (-$1.8 billion) level for November and was up 9.9 percent from the level of December 2022.

The value of improvements to residential buildings put in place in December was reported to be $348.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was up $5.9 billion from the revised (+$3.9 billion) level for November and was up $4.8 billion from the year-earlier level. 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 that the reported value of new multifamily residential construction put in place rose in the autumn of 2022 through the spring of 2023 but has occupied a narrow range since then. The current range is around $135 billion annualized dollars in completions per month.

single-family construction spending and multifamily construction spending

The value of new single-family residential construction put in place fell in the period from mid-2022 to spring of 2023 but has been rising steadily since its recent low in April 2023. The value of improvements to residential buildings put in place has established no clear pattern but the movement was higher this month.

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