Through February 2012 in Colorado this year, building permits issued for multifamily construction were up 117 percent, year over year, while permits issued for single-family construction were up 42 percent for the same period.
During the month, 119 multifamily permits were issued in Colorado, and 710 single-family permits were issued. During February 2011, there were 50 multi-family permits issued, and 496 single-family permits issued. February 2012's single-family permits were down 75 percent from 2005's peak of 2,823 permits. Multi-family permits during February were down 88 percent from 2008's January peak of 1,006 permits.
The second graph shows that overall, both multi-family and single-family permits in February were at levels well below what were typical over the past decade. During recent months, however, both multi-family and single-family permits have shown a slow upward trend.
During February 2012, the number of new multi-family permits issued was up from February 2011, but was at the second-lowest level reported in ten years. February's permit total of 119 was down significantly from January's total of 287.
February was another flat month for single-family permits for the most part, and February's single-family permit total was at the third-lowest level reported in ten years. Overall, February totals were well below February totals seen before 2009.
Once again, multi-family growth trends outpaced single-family growth, although February was the weakest month for multifamily permits since February of 2011. single-family permits, on the other hand, were at a three-month high.
Summary: Permit activity, especially in multifamily permits, is certainly up for the year so far as compared to 2011. However, early 2011 was not a robust period for permit activity, so increases form that period do not necessarily indicate a growth trend for the present. The fundamentals for multifamily construction continue to be strong, but this has not yet showed up in what we would consider to be large numbers for mul;ti-family permit activity.