While Construction Permits Slowly Rise, Construction Starts and Completions in California Are Stagnant

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In discussions with our builder clients, they indicate that they are busier than ever and are even turning down new jobs.

December 5, 2022
John Kazanovicz & Jason Feld - Kahana Feld

There is an interesting phenomenon happening in the California construction market since the Summer of 2022. There is a steady but slow rise in the construction building permits being issued throughout California. According to the U.S. Census and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s joint announcement (https://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/pdf/newresconst.pdf) of new residential construction statistics for September 2022, privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,564,000. This is 1.4 percent above the revised August rate of 1,542,000. While this is slightly lower than a year ago (3.2 percent below the September 2021 rate of 1,615,000), the trend for obtaining new home permits was reportedly ahead of the projected rates given the market conditions and inflation throughout the country. Interestingly, single‐family authorizations in September were at a rate of 872,000 which was also 3.1 percent below the revised August 2022 figure of 900,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 644,000 in September. Overall, while slowly recovering from the record lows during the height of the pandemic, the economic forecast for new home construction in California is positive, but cautious.

The flip side of this coin is the construction starts in California, which continue to remain stagnant despite additional building permits being issued. Privately‐owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,439,000.  This is 8.1 percent (±14.9 percent) below the revised August estimate of 1,566,000 and is 7.7 percent (±11.5 percent) below the September 2021 rate of 1,559,000.  Single‐family housing starts in September were at a rate of 892,000; this is 4.7 percent (±10.7 percent) below the revised August figure of 936,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 530,000.

Reprinted courtesy of John Kazanovicz, Kahana Feld and Jason Feld, Kahana Feld
Mr. Kazanovicz may be contacted at jkazanovicz@kahanafeld.com
Mr. Feld may be contacted at jfeld@kahanafeld.com



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