The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) took an in-depth look at one aspect of the Census Bureau's report on January construction expenditures which was released on Tuesday, multi-family construction.  As we reported here, total private residential construction spending stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $433.2 billion in January, virtually unchanged from December's upwardly revised rate of $433.1 billion. It was up 7.7% from one year earlier and the highest since November 2007.

Within that figure, expenditures on single-family housing declined by 0.2 percent from December to a seasonally adjusted rate of $230,000 billion but NAHB notes that, in relative terms, multifamily construction fared better. As of January total multi-family spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $59.8 billion which Na Zhao, writing for the Association, says exceeds the peak readings registered during the housing boom years.  It was also a 30 percent increase from a year earlier. 



Private sector spending on home improvements was also down slightly in January. At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $143,000 billion it has increased 2 percent year-over-year.  As the chart above shows, both multi-family construction and home improvement spending are far out-performing single family construction. Zhao said, however, that NAHB anticipates accelerating growth in single-family spending this year.