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Photo: Unsplash/David Becker

In December 2018, total residential construction spending posted the first annual loss, 1.3 percent, since 2011. But, multifamily construction spending had a record high, 3.1 percent, to a $65.2 billion annual pace.

According to the latest National Association of Home Builders analysis of Census data, the seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total private residential construction spending was $536.7 billion in December. The annual decline is attributed to less spending on single-family construction and remodeling projects; single-family spending fell 5.0 percent annually, and 3.2 percent over the previous month. Remodeling spending was up 1.9 percent annually, and grew 4 basis points in December over November 2018.

This decline in single-family spending mirrors the steady decline in single-family starts and the weakness of the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

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