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California recorded 9,764 housing permits in September, down 8 percent from September 2019 but the highest monthly total yet in 2020.

The September total of 5,568 single family permits was the highest since May 2018 although only slightly above the levels of June, July, and August. Single family activity has returned to normal after the pandemic-driven spring slump, as prices have been rising in most of the state’s metropolitan areas.

The multifamily housing permit total of 4,196 was the highest since January, if slightly below the recent average for September. The total was boosted by 402 units in Tulare County, whose previous monthly high dating back to 1988 was 248.

Nonresidential construction permit activity remains weak. The September total of $1.546 billion was the lowest since May, and well below the average for September. The commercial category (office, retail, hotels) was quiet again, and nonresidential alterations have held steady at a very low level since March.

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


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