Construction spending holds ground

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that construction spending during September 2018 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.330 trillion, about the same as the revised August estimate of $1.329 trillion.

Notably, September’s spending is 7.2% above the September 2017 estimate of $1.24 trillion.

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.0204 trillion, 0.3% above the revised August estimate of $1.0169 trillion.

Of that, residential construction spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $556.4 billion in September, 0.6% above the revised August estimate of $553 billion.

Notably, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index revealed that although homebuilders still fear increasing material costs, homebuilder confidence remained unchanged at 67 in September.

NAHB Chairman Randy Noel said despite rising affordability concerns, builders continue to report firm demand for housing, especially as Millennials and other newcomers enter the market.

“The recent decline in lumber prices from record-high levels earlier this summer is also welcome relief, although builders still need to manage construction costs to keep homes competitively priced,” Noel stated.

However, NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said a growing economy and rising incomes combined with increasing household formations should boost demand for new single-family homes moving forward.

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47278-construction-spending-holds-its-ground

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