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Total private residential construction spending decreased slightly from the revised August and newly released September figures to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $326.9 billion in October 2013 according to Census estimates. The current reading is a 0.6 percent decrease from the prior month and 17.8 percent higher than a year ago.

Today’s release included September and October data for construction put in place. The September data release was delayed by the government shutdown. The September reading was a 1.7 percent increase from August and 10.3 percent higher than a year ago.

Total private residential construction spending was at a market low point of $228.5 billion in June 2009. Although spending improved for all categories, the figures are well below their respective peaks. Since market low points, total private residential construction spending is up 43.1 percent: single-family 86.9 percent, multifamily 163.6 percent and improvement-related spending 17.1 percent.

Single-family spending registered a decrease of 0.6 percent for the month. The the home improvement category saw a decrease of 1.2 percent for the month. The multifamily category saw a healthy increase of 2.2 percent.

For October, on a 3-month moving average basis, single and multifamily spending continued to experience improvements over the course of 2013. Single-family spending increased by 13.9 percent while multifamily increased by 22.3 percent. Remodeling decreased 2.9 percent on a 3-month moving average basis.

Spending continues to improve for all categories, but remains well below their respective peaks. The data show a slowdown from the prior month for single-family and improvements that are reflective of the soft patch the housing sector entered in the fall. In spite of this month-over-month slowdown, the data show significant improvements in residential construction spending for all categories from the prior year. In fact, builder confidence remains solid.

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

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