After a slight drop in February, spending on both private residential construction and new single-family construction climbed higher in March, according to the data released Monday morning by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Spending on private residential construction climbed to $435.5 billion in March, up 1.6% from the downward revised $428.8 billion in February, and up 7.8% from the reading a year earlier. Spending in the private residential construction sector has been trending up steadily over the past six years (after falling to a low of $230.5 billion in May 2009), but still remains well below the pre-crisis peak of $678.0 billion in February, 2006.

New single-family construction outlays were relatively unchanged month-over-month, but were up 13.4% year-over-year at $236.3 billion, a level last seen between late 2007 and early 2008. New multi-family construction was on the rise in March, up 5.6% month-over-month and up 34.6% year-over-year, with a recorded $64.4 billion spent.

The overall construction industry (including total private construction and total public construction) posted an 8.0% gain year-over-year, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.1 trillion in March. Total residential construction (including both private and public) also increased 7.6% from last year's $410.4 billion, to a rate of $441.8 billion this March.

Read the full Value of Construction Put in Place Survey release here>>