Monday, April 16, 2012

Denver and Douglas counties dominate new multifamily permit totals

During the first two months of 2012, 98 percent of new multifamily permits issued were found in only four counties: Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson. Denver county had the most multifamily activity by far, with 225 multifamily permits issued during the first two months of 2012. Douglas county reported the second-largest number of permits with 60.

Denver County, which has issued 63 percent of all multifamily permits reported so far this year, also reported more multifamily permits than single-family permits from January through February, with 132 single-family permits. Denver was the only county to report more multi-family than single-family permits.

According to new multifamily permit data for Colorado counties, 393 multifamily permits were issued from Janaury 2012 through February 2012. Only the following counties reported any multifamily permit activity during the first two months of this year:

Arapahoe 49
Denver 225
Douglas 60
Jefferson 53
Larimer 6

For more historical info on multifamily permits, see here.

Multifamily permits increased 104 percent in the reporting counties from the first two months of 2011 to the same period this year. During the first two months of last year, 192 multifamily permits were issued in the reporting counties, and 176 of those, or 92 percent, were issued in Denver County alone.

With so little demand for new condominiums right now, it is safe to assume that the lopsided majority of new multifamily permits being issued are for rental housing. We see most of this activity in areas where vacancy rates have been tight or look to be tight for the near to mid-term.

The downtown Denver area has been one of the most in-demand areas for rental housing in recent quarters, and recent demand for new construction in the neighborhood has made Denver a large part of new multifamily construction.

The Census Bureau has not yet released its 2011 year-end report which include more data from most of the state's 64 counties. We will publish an analysis when that data becomes available.

However, we do have partial data for metropolitan counties and select non-metro counties through December 2011. See here.