Multi-family housing starts in the West were also at a five-year high for May, rising to the highest May total since 2006, and to the second-highest May total in more than a decade. May's multifamily starts total was near the highest total for any month reported since 2008.
The second graph shows multifamily housing starts for the West region (units in 1,000s):
Multifamily housing starts increased in the region by 84 percent from May 2012 to May 2013. As the graph shows, overall multifamily activity has increased substantially since the trough of 2009, and is now seeing some of the highest levels of activity since 2007. In the West region during May, there were 8,300 new multifamily units started, compared to 4,500 units during the same period of 2012.
Single-family starts, on the other hand, showed growth that was much more restrained than multifamily growth. Nevertheless, the growth from 2012 to 2013 was substantial with single-family starts increasing 17.2 percent from May 2012 to May 2013. There were 12,900 new single-family starts during May 2013, compared to 11,000 single-family starts during May of 2012. (Graph units in 1,000s.)
The year-over-year increase in housing starts was larger in the West region than in the nation overall. Starts were up 27.1 percent, year over year, nationwide.