The 2020 U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) with analysis provided by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reveals that multifamily units completed in 2020 increased by 6% to 375,000. This represents the largest annual count of multifamily units completed in 30-years.
The SOC differentiates between a “building” and a “unit”, with “unit” defined as an apartment, a group of rooms, or a single room intended for occupancy as separate living quarters. The number of buildings completed in 2020 was 14,000. Fifteen years ago, in 2005, a total of 29,000 multifamily buildings were completed. The 2020 building completion total represents a downward decline from earlier years.
The multifamily units completed were broken down into 348,000 units that were built for-rent and 28,000 units built for sale. Both categories are above the previous year’s level.
The SOC results seem illogical, considering the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the related Multifamily Production Index (MPI) to significantly decline. However, unlike the MPI, which is partly based on multifamily starts, the SOC data track the construction completed on units that were started at least one year prior.
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2020 Multifamily Completion Data: Property Size