Construction Spending Up, But Still Anemic

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon


WASHINGTON -- U.S. builders increased spending on homes, office buildings and other projects in August after a big decline in July. The gain still left the construction industry far below levels considered healthy.

Construction spending rose 1.4 percent in August, the Commerce Department said Monday. The increase followed a 1.4 percent drop in July, which had been the biggest setback in six months.

Building activity reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $799.1 billion. That's 4.8 percent above an 11-year low hit in March. But it's barely more than half the $1.5 trillion pace considered healthy.

Analysts say it could be four years before construction returns to healthy levels. A dismal outlook for housing and a weak economy have forced governments to cut back on building plans.

Housing construction, in particular, has all but stalled. Americans bought fewer homes during this year's peak buying season than at any time in the past half century. With unemployment stuck above 9 percent, many people are fearful about buying a home out of concern that they could lose their jobs or home prices could fall further.

In addition, the weak economy has weakened government construction and made it harder for builders to finance projects.

For August, private construction rose 0.4 percent. Government construction spending rose 3.1 percent. A big increase in spending at the state and local levels offset a drop in federal construction.

Private residential construction rose 0.7 percent after two months of declines. Both single-family and apartment construction showed increases. And nonresidential construction increased 0.2 percent, lifted by construction of office buildings, factories and transportation, communication and power projects.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

Also see:

21 PHOTOS
Most Popular Affordable Homes
See Gallery
Construction Spending Up, But Still Anemic

Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Price: $199,900
Beds/Baths: 5/4
Sq. Ft.: 4,233

Situated in a city whose real estate recovery is gaining steam, this 5-bedroom offers luxury features like a balcony and three-car garage.

See its gleaming interior

The expansive insides contain an elegant staircase with banisters bearing intricate designs. 

See more features of its interior

Location: Colorado Springs, Colo. 
Price: $175,000
Beds/Baths: 4/3
Sq. Ft.: 2,395

Boasting multiple decks that reach out from both stories, this home, built of wood and stone, offers details like custom woodwork, porthole windows, stylish blends of color and exposed beams. 

You need to see photos of the home to really appreciate these intricacies. 

The interior boasts hardwood floors and furnishing of a minimalist flavor. 

See what else this home has to offer

Location: Orlando, Fla.
Price: $189,000
Beds/Baths: 5/5
Sq. Ft.: 2,823

This contemporary sits in the gated community of Avalon Lakes, which is close to nearby beaches. Special features include three master suites, a gourmet kitchen and an "executive pool." 

See the listing for more details. 

The interior boasts details including wood cabinets, a granite counter and a tile backsplash. The home's community offers amenities such as a fitness center, tennis courts and basketball courts. 

See what else this home has to offer

Location: Novi, Mich. 
Price: $202,000
Beds/Baths: 3/3
Sq. Ft.: 2,711

Sited on a generous lot, this foreclosed home is selling at a reduced price. Highlights include granite counters and slate flooring. 

See the listing

Gleaming hardwood floors and fresh-looking finishes give the place a new-start feel. 

See the rest of what $202,000 brings you

Location: Henderson, Nev. 
Price:v $235,000
Beds/Baths: 4/3
Sq. Ft.: 2,736

This home commands mountain views from its fifth-of-an-acre lot. The interior offers fine finishes, including crown molding and cherry cabinetry. 

See the listing for more details. 

The kitchen (pictured here) contains new cherry cabinetry and Italian tile. 

See what else this gem delivers

Location: Detroit, Mich. 
Price: $199,000
Beds/Baths: 5/4
Sq. Ft.: 5,479

Only in Detroit can you get so much for so little. This manor looms over a tree-dotted boulevard and features interior flourishes, including hand-painted ceilings, hand-carved marble and hardwood floors. 

And that's just the beginning -- see a slideshow of the property for more. 

The elaborate Victorian decor imbues the interior with a stately feel.

See more of this gem

Location: Little Rock, Ariz.
Price: $165,000
Beds/Baths: 3/2
Sq. Ft.: 1,394

This brick single-story is running further below the national median home price, which hovers around $200,000, than other homes in our gallery. But it's a notable mention: The home offers a big living area, wood-burning stove and large eat-in kitchen. 

Learn more about this charming home by viewing the listing. 

The place has a rustic feel to it, with its well-kept, tulip-dotted yard, charming porch and wood-burning stove. The home's interior departs from its staid exterior, serving up a cheery color scheme. 

See more photos of this listing. 

Location: Orlando, Fla. 
Price: $225,000
Beds/Baths: 5/3
Sq. Ft.: 3,160

It's not often you get a pool and lakefront property for just $225,000, but this charming home delivers you just that, along with five bedrooms (three with walk-in closets), three bathrooms and a multi-faceted kitchen.

See what we mean by multi-faceted kitchen

Pictured here is the home's glass-covered pool, overlooking its much larger and naturally-occurring inspiration. 

See some of the other impressive features of this home. 



Location: Lewiston, Maine
Price: $225,000
Beds/Baths: 4/2
Sq. Ft.: 2,234

Nestled into a wooded lot but still close to Lewiston's vibrant shopping scene, this barnlike home exudes rustic charm and delivers ample space.

See the listing for more details. 

The home boasts a great room, fireplace, chef's kitchen and sunporch among other features. 

See the other ones

Location: Los Angeles, Calif. 
Price: $184,000
Beds/Baths: 6/2
Sq. Ft.: 2,180

This home brings you quite a few bedrooms for just $184,000 -- six to be exact. While the listing photos show that the space is fairly cluttered at the moment, there's still an ample supply of it.

Get a look of the specs listed above

Ceramic tile flooring and wall-to-wall carpeting are some interior features of the home. 

See a slideshow of the listing

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Viva Las Vegas! Sin City Now Bargain City
Home Sellers Step In Where Banks Fear to Tread

Related Video:



More on AOL Real Estate:
Find out how to
calculate mortgage payments.
Find
homes for sale in your area.
Find
foreclosures in your area.
See celebrity real estate.
Read Full Story

Find a New Home

Buy
Rent
Value
Powered by Zillow

From Our Partners