The first graph shows month-to-month totals for single-family and multifamily permits. We see the overall upward trend and a clear seasonal pattern in single-family. Single-family has already peaked for the year. Comparing October 2013 to October 2012, single-family permits were up 4.3 percent and multifamily permits were up 109 percent.
Month to month numbers can be very volatile, however, so if we look at the first ten months of the year combined, as we see in the second graph, we find that in both single-family and multifamily that the increase is 25 percent. This is a solid, but more moderate, increase than what we saw in permit growth from 2011 to 2012 when multifamily permits rose by 85 percent. From 2011 to 2012, single-family permits grew 41 percent. YTD through October:
The third graph shows single-family permits separated out by month and year. Note that October 2013's single-family total was at a six-year high for the month. We have to go back to October 2007 to find a more active October for single-family permits. There were 1306 single-family permits during October 2013 and 1252 during October 2012.
The last graph shows multifamily monthly totals, and in this case we see that October 2013 was also a very active month for multifamily permits compared to previous recent Octobers. In this case, October 2013 was a 5-year high in multifam permits, and was up to 777 during October 2013 from October 2012's total of 371.