September's release of building permit data by the census has apparently been delayed, possibly due to the federal government partial shutdown.
Through August of this year, however, single-family building permits hit a five-year high, and multi-family permits hit the highest level recorded since 2002. The first graph shows the permits for the period of January-August in each year:
Through August this year, there have been 11,687 single-family permits and 6,067 multi-family permits. This compares to 8,669 single-family permits and 5,671 multifamily permits during the same period of 2012. For single-family, that's a growth rate of 34 percent, and a growth rate of 6.9 percent for multifamily. Note that the increase from 2011 to 2012 in multifamily was 137 percent, so growth has flattened out considerably.
The second graph shows the monthly totals for permits. Multifamily permits tend to not exhibit much obvious seasonality, but single-family permitting is certainly seasonal, and in this we see a the highest summer peak was set since 2007, and that single-family permits hit 1,889 in June. There were 1,481 single-family permits during August 2013, which was an increase of 3 percent, year over year from August 2012's total of 1,436. In multifamily, the year-over-year increase for August was with permits increasing 10 percent from 1,259 to 1,394.