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May 2018 was a strong month for building permits. 13,505 building permits were issued in May, the second highest monthly total in the last decade. Through May, 50,323 housing units have been permitted statewide in 2018. This is about 16 percent higher than the first five months of 2017.

Single family homes (25,033) have made up about half of the statewide total so far this year, as they have in recent years. In every month thus far in 2018, single family permits have exceeded 2017 levels. Overall, single family permits are up 16 percent through the first five months of 2018 compared to 2017.

Single Family Permits Issued in California

Multifamily housing units (25,290) account for the other half of the statewide total. May was an especially strong month for multifamily permits (7,480), exceeding May 2017 levels by 37 percent. Overall, multifamily permits are up 17 percent through the first five months of 2018 compared to 2017.

Multifamily Housing Permits Issued in California

Following the devastating fires last fall, Sonoma County is showing signs of starting the rebuilding process. Over the past five years, Sonoma County has averaged about 40 single family permits per month. As show in the figure below, permitting levels in March (207), April (227), and May (362) of this year have substantially exceeded typical building levels.

Sonoma County Rebuilding After Fires

Data source: CIRB (Construction Industry Research Board), a service provided by the California Homebuilding Foundation http://www.mychf.org/cirb.html