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California recorded 6,430 housing permits in May, down 32 percent from May 2019. While this was above the April figure of 5,383, it was the lowest May total since 2012. These figures show the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown.

The multifamily housing permit total of 3,429 was not far below the May 2019 figure, but it was well below the May average over the previous five years. March and April were similarly below their 2015-2019 averages.

The single family permit total of 3,001 was the second lowest monthly total since early 2016, ahead of only April. It was more than 40 percent below both the May 2019 figure and the 2015-2019 average for May.

Nonresidential construction permit activity remained very weak in May. The aggregate permit value of $1.384 billion was more than 60 percent below the May 2019 figure, and barely half the 2015-2019 average for May. Among the categories of nonresidential construction, the aggregate value of $359 million for new commercial projects was the lowest monthly total since 2013.

Data source: CIRB (Construction Industry Research Board), a service provided by the California Homebuilding Foundation


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