A Closer Look at Building Permits in March 2020

A deeper dive into housing permits for March 2020, and the first quarter of 2020, reveals a robust start of the year for permits – of course prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the first quarter of 2020 the total number of single-family permits issued nationwide reached 220,416. When compared to March 2019, total of 185,336, that is an increase of 18.9%. The total number of multifamily permits issued in the first quarter was 108,997, which is a 1.6% increase over the March 2019 figure of 107,248. The increase in permits were, however, not evenly distributed throughout the 4 reporting regions. The West reported an increase of 21.7% and 14.9% in the Northeast, while the Midwest and South lagged behind.

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