Despite a reshuffling of monthly metro-level permitting leaders, national authorization volumes were virtually unchanged in April 2017.
For that month, total U.S. multifamily authorization activity slipped 3.4% from March 2017 and rose 1.6% from a year prior, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau. A total of 31,200 multifamily units were approved for construction by local governments across the country in April, bringing the year-to-date tally to 120,200 units. That year-to-date count reflects a 2.6% year-over-year decrease.
Among individual metro areas, New York reclaimed its top spot, while last month’s leader, Dallas/Fort Worth, surprisingly slipped six slots to #7. Dallas/Fort Worth approved just over 1,200 units, a notable drop from the 2,752 units registered in March 2017. Still, activity in North Texas remains elevated. Year-to-date, development is up 33.6% over the first four months of 2016.
Meanwhile, Chicago entered the list at #4 in April. In a recent webcast, RealPage vice president Jay Parsons said the metro, which ranks among the nation’s top markets for accelerating starts, has seen high supply throughout the current cycle. The Windy City’s apartment development activity has been highly concentrated in urban core submarkets.
Also introduced to the standings were Miami, Houston, Riverside/San Bernardino and the combined area of San Francisco and Oakland. The shakeup pushed out Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Atlanta, Phoenix and Austin.
The year-to-date authorizations leaderboard was also reshuffled, with all but the top three frontrunners settling into new spots.
Denver experienced the top 10’s greatest percent change, with a year-over-year permitting increase of 81.1%. Authorizing nearly 5,000 units through April 2017, the market landed at #4. Meanwhile, the leaderboard’s greatest decline occurred in Atlanta. The Georgia capital saw permitting activity drop more than 40% from the year-to-date April 2016 figures. Interestingly, the metro outperformed Denver for pricing power in 1st quarter 2017, though both metros made the quarterly leaderboard for annual rent growth.
A separate Census report shows a total 111,600 multifamily units started construction through April 2017. That figure represents a 2.9% increase from the first four months of 2016.