US Construction Spending: Oct and 3Q 2020

The total value of US construction put in place in October rose +1.3% from September, and +3.7% from October 2019, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of US$1.439 trillion, according to US Census Bureau data released Tuesday.

US residential construction spending in 3Q 2020 is the highest since the previous residential boom in 2005-2006. Spending is now already +2% higher than previous high in February. Housing completions in 2020 are up +10% and spending is expected to climb another +10% in 2021.

The increase of US residential construction spending was the fifth monthly gain in a row but still left spending -0.2% below the pre-pandemic peak of US$1.441 trillion reached in February.

US National Association of Home Builders analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of US$637 billion in August. Residential construction spending grew +3% in October and is up +9.6% year-to-date.
Spending on new single-family residential, specifically, continues to pull the US construction train, jumping +5.6% in October to a US$324 billion annual pace, supported by the increasing buyer traffic amid the record low mortgage rates, and is up +5% year-to-date.

Total private residential construction spending in the US was +14.5% higher than in October 2019.

Multifamily construction spending inched up +1.2% to a US$90.2 billion annual pace, reaching a record high in October.

Private residential improvements meanwhile, which include spending on remodelling, major replacements, and additions to owner-occupied housing units, stayed flat at a US$223.0 billion annual pace in November.