Single Family Construction Spending Defies Gravity, Rises Even Amid Broad Dip

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Construction spending on single-family homes ticked up in February following a surge higher in January, defying the rest of the construction market’s slip downward.

Private sector single-family home construction rose one-tenth of a percentage point compared with January, data from the Commerce Department showed Thursday. The initial report of a three percent month-to-month in January was revised down to show a 2.2 percent gain.

Compared with a year ago, the private sector spent 20.6 percent more on single-family construction in February. Home prices are rising at their fastest level in 15-years and the supply of existing homes on the market is at a record low.

Overall construction spending in the U.S. dipped eight-tenths of a percent. Economists had expected a slightly larger decline after spending jumped in January. January’s figure was revised down to show 1.2 percent growth from the 1.7 percent initial estimate.

Total residential construction slipped two-tenths of a percentage point, weighed down by a 1.4 percent decline in multifamily construction spending.

Nonresidential private sector spending fell 1.3 percent and is off by 6.1 percent compared with a year ago.  Spending on hotels and motels fell 2.9 percent and is off 23.2 percent compared with February of 2020. Spending on office construction fell 05. percent and is down five percent compared with a year ago. Commercial construction fell 1.2 percent and is off 7 percent annually.

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