Single-Family Permits Slow-Down in May

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Over the first five months of 2020 – and at the onset of the impact of the coronavirus, total single-family permits issued year-to-date (YTD) nationwide reached 348,898. On a year-over-year (YoY) basis, this is an 2.0% increase over the May 2019 level of 342,116, but a slowdown compared to April YoY rate of 8.5%.

Year-to-date ending in April, single-family permits across the four regions ranging from an increase of 5.0% in the South to a decline of 4.8% in the Northeast. In multifamily permits, all four regions reported declines – Northeast (-15.2%), Midwest (-11.1%), West (-3.7%), and the South (-2.8).

Between May 2019 YTD and May 2020 YTD, 28 states saw growth in single-family permits issued while 22 states and the District of Columbia registered a decline. South Dakota recorded the highest growth rate during this time at 25.7% from 865 to 1,087, while single-family permits in the District of Columbia declined by 60.2%, from 103 in 2019 to 41 in 2020. The 10 states issuing the highest number of single-family permits combined accounted for 62.6% of the total single-family permits issued.

Year-to-date, ending in May 2020, the total number of multifamily permits issued nationwide reached 184,164. This is 6.0% decline over the May 2019 level of 195,848.

Between May 2019 YTD and May 2020 YTD, 21 states recorded growth while 29 states and the District of Columbia recorded a decline in multifamily permits. Mississippi led the way with a sharp rise (272.2%) in multifamily permits from 126 to 469, while Hawaii reported the largest decline of 61.2% from 961 to 373. The 10 states issuing the highest number of multifamily permits combined accounted for 64.4% of the multifamily permits issued.

At the local level, below are top 10 metro areas which issued the highest number of single-family permits.

Metropolitan Statistical Area Single-family Permits (Units #YTD, NSA)
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 16,576
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 16,207
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 11,009
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 9,774
Austin-Round Rock, TX 7,963
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 6,872
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 6,629
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 5,559
Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN 5,470
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 5,214

For multifamily permits, below are the top 10 local areas which issued the highest number of permits:

Metropolitan Statistical Area  Multifamily Permits (Units #YTD, NSA)
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 14,119
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 8,934
Austin-Round Rock, TX 8,819
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 7,964
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 7,843
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 7,149
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 6,024
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 5,750
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 4,326
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 4,169


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