Multifamily Permits, Starts Down; Completions Up

February 21, 2023 |

Updated February 21, 2023

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Mixed results in latest housing data release.

The Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Feb. 16 that housing starts and building permits were down year-over-year (YoY) in January. Housing completions were up double-digits.

Starts, completions and permits for new residential construction have settled together over the last year—in the 1.3 million-1.4-million-unit range for each—based on a seasonally adjusted annual rate; however, some data is declining.

Permits for five units or more increased slightly from December 2022 to January 2023, but permits are down 4.1% YoY. Housing starts dropped 5.4% from December to January and 8.4% from January 2022. Completions slipped 8.6% in January from December but increased 14.4% YoY.

Much of the housing data witnessed in January 2023 is similar to what was seen in 2020 and 2021 after the pandemic had already begun affecting economic and other data.