New residential construction spending fell 0.5% in March but permits, starts and sales all posted double-digit gains. This signals a pickup in jobsite spending in the spring. Single family spending has been about steady for eight months while multi family spending, mostly for condos, has continued to decline. But the recent surge in multi family permits and favorable turnabout in rent and vacancy rates will stop the long slide in multi family construction during the spring.
Construction spending for residential remodeling increased 5.9% in March. While the month to month gain is implausible, there is reason to believe that the remodeling market is recovering. It is expected to be much larger by yearend when existing home sales, consumer income and consumer confidence are all higher.
Reed Construction Data
05/10/2011 by Jim Haughey, RCD Chief Economist