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Multifamily Housing Starts: Most Since 2015

multifamily housing apartment homes
November 2019

More than a half-million multifamily housing apartment homes were permitted for construction in the United States during the past year, the most since 2015, according to U.S. Census figures for August.

While the national number climbed to recent highs, several of the top permitting markets are seeing shifts in the number of total issuances. Multifamily housing permitting activity came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 509,000 apartment homes in August, only the fourth time above 500,000 apartment homes in the past decade. Multifamily building permits were 27.3 percent higher than one year ago and almost 15 percent greater than in July. During the past 12 months, seasonally adjusted annual multifamily housing permits have averaged 438,000 apartment homes.

Following the increase in permits, multifamily housing starts hit 424,000 apartment homes in August, well above the 12-month average of 360,000 apartment homes. Starts grew by more than 30 percent from July and 13.7 percent from August 2018.