According to Axiometrics' research, Houston led the way in multifamily property permitting in 2012. The numbers indicated are the most recent.

HOUSTON-Dallas-basedAxiometric’s jobs/multifamily permitting report showed that Houston topped the 10 MSAs for multifamily property permitting for trailing 12 months ending November, 2012. According to the report, permits for 11,192 units were issued.

The other nine MSAs were

  • New York (13,664 units)
  • Dallas (12,574 units)
  • Austin (10,242 units)
  • Los Angeles (8,582 units)
  • Washington, DC (8,415 units)
  • Seattle (8,309 units)
  • Denver (6,799 units)
  • Raleigh (5,919 units)

Nationally, November saw an increase in jobs and a decrease in the unemployment rate, while on the multifamily property permitting side, the number stood at 261,232, the 13th consecutive month during which that figure has topped 200,000.

On the jobs front, however, Axiometrics’ researchers temper the enthusiasm, pointing out that, while the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics saw monthly nonfarm payrolls increasing by 146,000 jobs in November, September and October job numbers were revised downward, from 148,000 to 132,000 and from 171,000 to 138,000, respectively. These revisions took away 49,000 jobs that were originally reported. Furthermore, private payrolls rose by 147,000 jobs, slightly lower than the average of 155,000 jobs seen from January through October 2012.

The recent BLS revisions result in an average job gain of 226,000, 67,000, and 168,000 jobs per month during the first, second, and third quarters of 2012, respectively. If the current monthly job gain trend holds in December, the 4Q12 job gain will average 142,000 jobs.

During November 2012, annual multifamily permits increased by 46% at the national level from the comparable period a year ago. Even with moderating apartment market fundamentals in November 2012, MF permitting growth is being driven by the expectations of developers and investors for a strong apartment market over the next two years. As these permits are turned into completions by mid-to-late 2013, completions will still remain slightly below the long-term historical average for the U.S. and most MSAs.