Multifamily construction spending trends lower

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multifamily construction completions

The Census Bureau’s report on construction spending said that the value of multifamily residential construction put in place in March was down 0.61 percent from the revised level of the month before. Spending on single-family residential construction was reported to fall 0.18 percent while spending on improvements was down 1.6 percent.

The value of total private residential construction put in place in March 2024 was reported to be $884.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This figure, which includes spending on both new construction and on improvements, was reported to be down $6.6 billion month-over-month. In addition, February’s figure was revised lower by $10.2 billion, so the reported value of residential construction put in place in March is $16.8 billion lower than that reported last month. However, residential construction spending in March was reported to still be up 4.4 percent year-over-year.

Multifamily construction spending lower again

The value of new private construction of multifamily residential buildings put in place in March was reported to be $131.4 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was down $801 million from the revised level for February. In addition, the February figure was revised lower by $1.05 billion, so the preliminary multifamily construction spending figure reported this month is $1.85 billion, or 1.4 percent, lower than the preliminary figure for February reported last month. The reported value of multifamily housing construction put in place in March 2024 was 3.5 percent higher than the level of March 2023.

The first chart shows the difference between the levels of multifamily construction put in place reported last month and the levels reported this month. As stated above, the revisions to last month’s data are larger than the month-over-month change reported this month. In addition, the revision to January’s reported level of construction put in place is also larger than this month’s reported change, with a downward revision of $889 million.

comparison of reporte of new multifamily residential construction put in place

For reference, the Census Bureau’s New Residential Construction report said the number of unit completions in March in buildings with 5 or more units fell 19.9 percent from the elevated level of the month before. Completions were 4.6 percent higher than their year-earlier level.

The value of new single-family residential construction put in place in March was $437.0 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was down $769 million from the revised (-$1.03 billion) level for February but was up 18.3 percent from the level of March 2023.

The value of improvements to residential buildings put in place in March was reported to be $315.9 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. This was down $5.06 billion from the revised (-$8.09 billion) level for February and was down $34.6 billion from the year-earlier level. The Census Bureau does not separate out improvements for single-family and multifamily residential buildings.

Governments were reported to have put $11.6 billion in residential construction in place in March on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis.

Charting the data

The following chart shows the value of residential construction put in place each month since January 2012. It also shows the trend line for single-family residential construction based on growth in construction volume during the period from January 2012 to June 2018.

history of new single-family residential construction and multifamily residential construction put in place

The chart shows that the value of new single-family residential construction put in place had recently been growing rapidly, but this month it declined for the first time in a year. In addition, the value of multifamily residential construction put in place has been trending lower since reaching its recent high in August 2023. It is now $4.6 billion (3.4 percent) below August’s level. The value of improvements put in place has also been trending lower.

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