Housing permits have been declining since the summer of 2018. 8,260 permits were issued statewide in March, down 20 percent from the prior March. In total, 24,260 permits have been issued in the first three months of 2019, down 9 percent from the first three months of 2018.
Multifamily housing units have made up about half of the permits issued in 2019. After a strong January, multifamily permits fell 32 percent below the prior year in February and 23 percent below the prior year in March. It appears January probably was a blip and multifamily permitting has returned to a trend of weakening that started in the second half of 2018.
Single family homes also were relatively weak in March, down 17 percent compared to a year ago. Through the first three months of 2019, single family permits are down 14 percent compared to 2018.
While single family permitting generally has slowed across the state, a few counties continue to see growth in single family building. In particular, more permits were issued in Kern, Solano, Sacramento, and San Joaquin through the first three months of 2019 than the first three months of 2018.
Data source: CIRB (Construction Industry Research Board), a service provided by the California Homebuilding Foundation http://www.mychf.org/cirb.html.