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A Frigid February Catches up to Construction Spending

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Total private residential construction spending decreased in February after three consecutive months of growth. The unusually cold winter may have finally caught up to total residential spending and contributed to a slight month-over-month decline. Total private residential construction spending dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $360.4 billion according to the latest Census estimates. The current reading is a decrease of 0.8 percent from the revised January estimate, but 13.5 percent higher than one year ago.

Month-over-month single-family spending decreased by 1.1 percent as there was some weakness in the value of housing units started. The home improvement category decreased by 1.3 percent. Multifamily construction rebounded from a drop in January with a strong month-over-month increase of 2.6 percent.

From February 2013, on a 3-month moving average basis, construction spending in single-family increased by 18.3 percent, multifamily increased by 29.9 percent, and remodeling increased by 11.1 percent.

Although housing starts were down slightly in February, less weather-dependent permits were up almost 8 percent to 1,018,000. As the weather improves construction spending should pick up provided key supply chain issues, which remain a concern for many builders, do not restrict growth.

View this original post on the NAHB Eye on Housing blog.

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