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residential_constructionThe latest Census estimate of total private residential construction spending is 7.5 percent higher than one year ago. In particular, the release shows significant improvement in construction spending for the single-family and multifamily categories.

From May 2013, on a 3-month moving average basis, single-family construction spending increased by 12.3 percent and multifamily construction spending increased by 33.0 percent. The current seasonally adjusted annual rate for total private residential construction spending is $354.8 billion.

The current reading, however, is 1.5 percent lower than the revised April estimate. The three components of residential construction all fell in May. The home improvements category fell 1.9 percent, single-family spending fell 1.4 percent, and multifamily spending fell 0.6 percent.

The month-over-month decline in May should be considered along with the growth from last year.  If builder sentiment is a guide for future construction spending, cautious optimism is in order. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for June rose four points to 49.

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

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