Multifamily Housing Starts Dip in June

Washington, D.C.--The ever-volatile rate of multifamily starts was down in June.

Washington, D.C.–The ever-volatile rate of multifamily starts was down in June, according to the latest tally by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate in June for structures with five or more units was 88,000, down from 109,000 in May and 104,000 in April.

The change in multifamily starts between June and May 2010 represents a 19.3 percent drop. Compared with June 2009, multifamily starts nationwide were also down, but only by 8.3 percent. All together, 97,300 multifamily units (in buildings with five or more units) were built in 2009, a vast decline from the 2008 total of 266,000.

This time around, multifamily starts represented most of the decline in housing starts in the wider residential context. Single-family starts in June were at an annualized rate of 454,000, only 0.7 percent down from May. Combining both single-family and multifamily starts, and the June 2010 total is 5 percent less than May.

Somewhat fewer multifamily units are currently under construction this month than during the previous one, according to the report. In June 2010, the annualized total under construction was 154,000, a 5.5 percent drop from May. The current June total is a whopping 48 percent drop from the number of units under construction in June 2009.

Multifamily permitting, on the other hand, was up to an annualized rate of 145,000 units in June, compared with 120,000 in May–a 20.8 percent increase. Permitting compared with June 2009 was also up, by 16.9 percent. Developers at least are interesting in building, whether or not most of those units will actually be realized.

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