Construction spending in the United States fell slightly, by less than a percentage point, in July, to an annual rate of $834.4 billion, ending its three-months of rising numbers streak, but still 9.3% ahead of July of last year, The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

Despite the slight downward monthly blip, so small that it could easily be erased when the July numbers are revised, construction spending for the first seven months of 2012 of the year was 9.3% higher than the same period in 2011.

Residential construction’s share of total construction spending also had a slight drop in July, coming in at an annual rate of $264.6 billion, 1.6% below the revised June estimate, and 19% higher than July of 2011. The annual rate for new single-family homes in July was $127.5 billion, up 1.5% monthly and 19.1% from July of 2011.

New multi-family construction was up month-over-month by 2.8% at $22 billion, and up a whopping 44.5% over the July 2011.

Teresa Burney is a senior editor for BUILDER magazine.