Slow Finish to a Strong Year of Residential Construction

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After several months of strong growth, Twin Cities residential construction slowed slightly in December. Despite the slowdown, residential permits still ended the year up 4% with the number of total units up over 20%.

Single-family construction fell by 14% in December with 427 permits pulled, down from 497 permits in December of 2018. Multifamily construction also pulled back with permits pulled for 713 units, falling 18% from the same month last year.

“We’re pleased to see 2019 homebuilding activity end the year up after such a slow start,” said John Rask, president of Housing First Minnesota. “The market demand is definitely there for new housing, yet the housing industry is facing multiple headwinds, including a labor shortage, lot shortage, and a tough regulatory environment, that are all holding back the construction of new homes.”

According to data compiled by the Keystone Report for Housing First Minnesota, there were 451 permits issued for a total of 1,140 units during four comparable weeks in the month of December. For the year there were 6,446 permits issued for 15,467 units.

“While it is great to see growth in residential construction, the permit numbers and units we saw in 2019 are still thousands of units short of what our region needs in order to make a dent in our housing crisis and lack of inventory,” said David Siegel, executive director of Housing First Minnesota. “State and local leaders need to take a serious look in 2020 at what is holding back residential construction or our housing shortage and unbalanced housing market will continue to get worse.”

For the month, Lakeville and Rosemount took the top spot with 41 permits issued. Woodbury and Otsego came in next both with 30 permits, followed by St. Michael and Carver both with 19 permitted units.

Download the December 2019 data chart >>