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Residential Construction No Longer Dominating Spending


By: Mathew Graham

National spending on construction spending rose slightly in October, but for the second month in a row, the increase wasn’t driven by the residential sector. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that construction put in place during the month was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.598 trillion, an 0.2 percent increase from September and up 8.6 percent compared to October 2020.

On a non-adjusted basis, spending totaled $141.911 billion, down from $145.746 billion in September. For the year-to-date (YTD) spending totals $1.373 trillion, 7.5 percent more than the $1.231 spent to the same point in 2020.

Privately funded construction fell by 0.2 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted rate of $1.245 trillion. This represents an 11.1 percent increase from the prior October.

Residential spending was down 0.5 percent from September while remaining 16.7 percent higher year-over-year. The seasonally adjusted annual rate for all residential building was $774.688 billion. Single-family spending was down 0.8 percent and multifamily down 0.1 percent to annual rates of $412.084 billion and $100.115 billion, respectively. Compared to their October 2021 levels, single-family is up 23.1 percent and multifamily spending increased 9.9 percent.

A total of $109.924 billion in private dollars was expended in October and spending YTD has reached $1.031 billion. This is less that the $111.836 billion spent in September but 11.6 percent higher than the $923.489 billion spent during the first 10 months of 2020. On an unadjusted basis, residential spending was $68.884 billion, $37.480 billion on new single-family and $8.569 billion on new multifamily units. All three numbers were down slightly from their September counterparts.

YTD privately funded residential spending increased 24.2 percent to $644.794 billion. Single-family spending rose 35.6 percent to $340.294 billion and multifamily spending YTD is 16.6 percent higher than last year at $82.776 billion.

Publicly funded expenses were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $353.049 billion in October, up 1.8 percent and 0.4 percent for the month and on an annual basis. Residential spending rose 2.9 percent to $9.163 billion. Public spending is up 4.8 percent overall YTD, but residential spending has declined 1.5 percent.