Multifamily Shows Continued Strength

The Census Bureau’s preliminary estimate of starts in buildings with five or more apartments for November surged 32 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 230,000.

While growth in this sector is typically more volatile than the single family sector, the trend is clearly upward, with production more than doubling since the trough in late 2009, and recovering to nearly two thirds of more normal levels. In comparison, single family production is still struggling, with production only modestly above 2009 trough levels, stuck at roughly one third of more normal levels.

This strong year-end performance points to a 2011 finish that is stronger than the NAHB forecast with positive implications for continued improvement in the outlook for 2012 and beyond.



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