During 2011 in Colorado, building permits issued for multifamily construction were up 89.6 percent, compared to 2010, while permits issued for single-family construction were up 2.6 percent for the same period.
Through year-end 2011, 9,288 single-family permits were issued and 4,002 multifamily permits were issued (5 units or more per building), for a total of 13,290 units.
During 2010, 9,050 single-family permits were issued and 2,110 multifamily permits were issued.
During December alone, 481 multifamily permits were issued in Colorado, and 601 single-family permits were issued. December multifamily permits were up 9.5 percent, year over year, while single-family permits were up 4.8 percent.
The second graph shows that overall, both multi-family and single-family permits in December were at levels well below what were typical over the past decade. Since 2009, however, both multi-family and single-family permits have shown a slow upward trend.
During December, the number of new multi-family permits issued was up from December 2010, and was the highest December total reported in four years. December continued a general trend in which monthly multi-family permits have been at multi-year highs during recent months.
December was another flat month for single-family permits for the most part, although it was at a slight four-year high. Overall December totals were well below December totals seen before 2009, but has nevertheless shown a mild growth trend since.
Once again, multi-family growth trends outpaced single-family growth in December, and overall totals for 2011 show a near doubling of multi-family permit activity in 2011 over 2010's totals. Single-family activity in 2011, on the other hand, was largely flat compared with 2010. Compared to peak levels, both single-family and multi-family permit activity is down considerably. Single-family permits were down 77 percent in 2011 compared to the 2005 peak of 40,430, while multi-family permits were down 52 percent in 2011 from the 2006 peak of 8,378.
Much of the multi-family activity during 2008, however, was driven by condominium construction while almost all multi-family construction during 2011 was for rental apartments. The 89 percent increase in multi-family permit activity from 2010 to 2011 indicates an ongoing demand for new multifamily rental product.