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Spending on privately funded multifamily projects jumped more than 50% on a year-over-year basis.

Construction spending was up in May, with the private residential sector appearing as the star performer, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall spending was up 0.9% from April’s upwardly revised estimate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $830 billion, the largest monthly improvement seen in five months. Year-over-year, spending was up 7.0%.

While residential improvements, a poorly estimated category, accounted for some of that gain, once improvements are subtracted, spending still gained 0.5% on a monthly basis.

Private residential spending gained 3.0% for the month; excluding improvements, the sector still gained 2.5%. Spending on single-family homes rose 1.8%, while multifamily spending jumped 6.3%—the second consecutive month of gains of more than 6%, and a gain of 50.3% year-over-year.

Other sectors were less promising. Spending on public projects fell 0.4%, hitting the lowest level seen since November 2006,

See the Census Bureau’s full construction spending report for May.

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.

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