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  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

Multifamily Completions Continue to Outpace Starts in April, Permits Decline

Multifamily housing

Multifamily completions once again exceeded multifamily starts for the ninth consecutive month in April. The SAAR for multifamily starts increased by 31.4% from March’s low rate, but was still down 32.9% from last April. Multifamily completions were reported at 516,000 units which is about 1% down from last month but up 18% for the year. 

Units under construction fell 1.6% from March to 919,000 units, a 5.2% decrease YoY. Units authorized but not started decreased 3.8% from March to 126,000 units, a 16% decline YoY.

Single-family starts fell 0.4% from last month to 1.031 million units, a 17.7% increase year-over-year. Single-family completions rose 15.4% for the month and 13.6% for the year to 1.092 million units. Units under construction declined 1% from March to 682,000 units, a 2% decrease year-over-year. Units authorized but not started rose 1.4% for the month and year to 142,000 units.

Total residential permitting decreased 3% from last month and 2% for the year to 1.44 million units. The SAAR of total residential starts increased 5.7% from last month to 1.36 million units, still down 0.6% from last year.

Multifamily permitting increased only in the Northeast (+38.6%) but saw steep declines in the West (-51.4%), Midwest (-38.2%), and South (-17.6%). Multifamily starts dropped from last April in all regions, with the Northeast (-78.6%) and Midwest (-38.9%) experiencing the largest declines.

Metro-level multifamily permitting saw New York remain the top market with 28,733 units permitted, down 7% year-over-year but up from March. Austin was second with 19,277 units permitted, flat for the month but down 2.3% for the year. Phoenix held the third spot with 17,461 units, unchanged from March but down 3,500 units from last April.

Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, experienced significant declines in multifamily permitting. Other notable markets like Tampa and Miami saw mixed changes, with Tampa entering the top 10 and Miami maintaining its position despite declines.

Overall, major markets with significant year-over-year declines in annual multifamily permitting include San Antonio, Raleigh/Durham, Portland, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle, Chicago, and Orlando. In contrast, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, San Diego, Knoxville, Louisville, Nashville, and Fort Lauderdale saw significant increases.

The total multifamily permits in the top 10 metros amounted to 151,650, about 25% less than the previous year and down 2.5% from last month. The combined permits from the top 10 nearly equaled the permits from the next 24 metros.

Below the metro level, Austin led individual permitting places with 10,116 units, followed by Los Angeles and Phoenix. Texas had the most cities in the top 20, while Florida, California, North Carolina, and New York also had multiple entries.


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