Multifamily New Construction Rises Dramatically in Houston

by Peter Thomas Ricci

In the last 10 years, the market share for multifamily construction has grown by an extraordinary amount


In April, the most recent month for which we have data, multifamily construction soared 35.5 percent across the country from March. That was more than double the rate of single-family construction, and was in addition to a 17.5 percent jump in permits and a 36.5 percent rise in completions.

Such statistics further underscored a point that Houston Agent has made numerous times – following the housing crash, the new construction markets have shifted to multifamily developments in a major way, and that trend is especially pronounced at the local level.

So to get a better idea on how prominent multifamily construction is in 2015, we conducted an extensive study of Census Bureau permit data, and assembled the following charts. First are the number of permits issued for single-family and multifamily units in 2015:


Thus far in 2015, there have actually been far more single-family permits issued in the Houston area than multifamily permits. Things get more interesting, though, in the next graph, which compares multifamily’s share of total building permits in 2005 and 2015 (year-to-date):


In Houston, multifamily’s share of new construction has grown by 12.4 percentage points, rising from 19.8 percent in 2005 to 32.2 percent in 2015; single-family construction may still rule in Houston, but it’s still notable that nearly a third of new construction projects are now multifamily developments.

One final thing to consider: there is typically a 12- to 18-month lifespan for multifamily construction projects from the permit to completion, meaning there will be many more multifamily projects hitting the marketplace through 2016.

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