Construction spending during May 2015 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,035.8 billion, 0.8% above the revised April estimate of $1,027.0 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today.

The May figure is 8.2% above the May 2014 estimate of $957.6 billion.

“Home purchase mortgage applications edged higher again in June despite another big rise in interest rates,” said Ed Stansfield, chief property economist for Capital Economics. “The pace of growth has slowed, but we are hopeful that mortgage demand can make more meaningful progress in the months ahead, helping to close the gap with home sales.

“In a more positive sign, home purchase applications, which are a better indicator of active housing demand, managed to grind higher in June despite the rise in interest rates,” he said. “Admittedly, purchase applications have risen at a very modest pace of around 1% m/m since their 14.6% m/m surge in April. And a significant gap remains between applications and home sales, which reached an eight-year high in May.”

During the first 5 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $382.1 billion, 5.9% above the $360.8 billion for the same period in 2014.

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $752.4 billion, 0.9% above the revised April estimate of $745.6 billion.

Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $359.5 billion in May, 0.3% above the revised April estimate of $358.5 billion.

Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $392.8 billion in May, 1.5% above the revised April estimate of $387.1 billion.

In May, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $283.4 billion, 0.7% above the revised April estimate of $281.5 billion. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $65.3 billion, 0.7% below the revised April estimate of $65.8 billion.

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