Strong Single-Family Permit Gains in March

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Over the three months of 2021, the total number of single-family permits issued year-to-date (YTD) nationwide reached 276,110. On a year-over-year (YoY) basis, this is a 25.3% increase over the March 2020 level of 220,416.

Year-to-date ending in March, single-family permits reported increases in all four regions. The relatively more affordable Midwest reported the strongest increase of 40.0%, followed by the Northeast (+27.3%), the West (+23.9%), and the South (23.1%). Multifamily permits were robust across the country in March compared to last year; the South (+22.1%), Northeast (+21.3%), West (+20.3%) and the Midwest (+13.5%).

Between March 2020 YTD and March 2021 YTD, 49 states and the District of Columbia saw growth in single-family permits issued, while Rhode Island reported no change. The District of Columbia recorded the highest growth rate during this time at 300.0% from 20 to 80. The 10 states issuing the highest number of single-family permits combined accounted for 62.8% of the total single-family permits issued.

Year-to-date, ending in March 2021, the total number of multifamily permits issued nationwide reached 131,227. This is 20.4% ahead of the March 2020 level of 108,977.

Between March 2020 YTD and March 2021 YTD, 36 states recorded growth while 14 states and the District of Columbia recorded a decline in multifamily permits. New Mexico led the way with a sharp rise (1,267.7%) in multifamily permits from 62 to 848, while Illinois had the largest decline of 49.2% from 2,535 to 1,289. The 10 states issuing the highest number of multifamily permits combined accounted for 63.7% of the multifamily permits issued.

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


For multifamily permits, below are the top 10 local areas that issued the highest number of permits.




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