The Census Bureau, in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), released its monthly new residential construction report for February, 2018. The report shows mixed results for multifamily housing with strong completion results but some weakness in permitting and in housing construction starts.
Permitting is mixed
Permits for buildings with 5 or more units were down 14.8 percent from January but were up 13.2 percent from a year earlier. Permitting activity was strong in the Northeast but was mixed in the rest of the country. Permits for buildings with multiple units were down 35 percent from January in the South. Given that the South region represented 45 percent of January permits, this had a strong negative impact on overall permit numbers.
Multifamily housing construction starts are down
Construction starts for buildings with 5 or more units were down 28 percent from January and down 10.1 percent from a year earlier. Construction starts for buildings with multiple units were up strongly from January in the Midwest but down in the rest of the country. However, since the Midwest represented only 16 percent of construction starts in February, strength there was not able to offset the weakness elsewhere.
Completions are up
Completions of buildings with 5 or more units were up 21.5 percent from January and up 9.4 percent from a year earlier. Completions of buildings with multiple units were strongest in the Northeast and weakest in the West. The West was the only region where multifamily completions fell both from the prior month and year over year.
All data quoted are based on seasonally adjusted results.