In August, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts in buildings with five or more apartments was 208,000, according to the latest release from the Census Bureau’s Manufacturing and Construction Division. This is a 2.8% decrease from the downwardly revised July starts rate. Despite the monthly drop, this rate is nearly 37% higher than the August 2011 rate of 5+ unit starts. Moreover, the three-month moving average of 5+ unit starts for the month of August is the fourth highest since 2008.
Meanwhile, the rate at which new five-plus permits were issued registered a 3% decrease in August, to 263,000–marking the tenth consecutive month that the five-plus permit rate has been above 200,000. Improvement in the permit rate since 2010 suggests that multifamily production will remain relatively healthy going forward.