15 cities with the biggest increase in multi-family home construction

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Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Construction Coverage.

The state of the US housing market has been one of the defining economic stories of the past two years. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, housing has become more expensive for both buyers and renters.

The median sale price of homes in the United States has increased by more than a third since the start of the pandemic, surpassing $400,000 in 2021. The rental market was relatively calm at the start of the pandemic, but renters are paying now more than 25% more. on average than they were at the same time last year.

Federal funder Freddie Mac estimates the United States is short by 3.8 million housing units. But the pandemic has only exacerbated the supply problem. Housing inventories have fallen to record lows in 2020. Ongoing supply chain challenges and labor shortages have made it difficult for builders to add new inventory: building permits and Housing starts have picked up strongly since the start of the pandemic, but completions have not followed suit.

However, as the United States emerges from the pandemic, a promising sign for housing supply is an uptick in the planned construction of multi-family homes. Multi-family housing increases the density and availability of housing units in urban and suburban areas, and is more efficient and cost-effective to expand than single-family stock. And with more people now returning to their offices – along with restaurants, bars, venues and other amenities – denser housing closer to work and social attractions is regaining its appeal.

For several years before the pandemic, the total number of multi-family units licensed remained stable, while the multi-family units as a proportion of the total number of units licensed saw a slow decline. Both of these numbers increased in 2019 but fell again with the onset of the pandemic in 2020. In 2021, however, the total number of multi-family units allowed increased from 491,700 to 621,700.

Here are the US cities with the largest increase in multi-family home construction in 2021.

15. Oakland, CA

Neighborhood of Oakland California
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +69.0%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +505
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 91.6%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 88.5%

14. Arlington, TX

Arlington, TX
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +73.1%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +528
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 56.2%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 44.7%

13. Miami, Florida

Brightly colored Miami house.
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +75.7%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +2,651
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 98.4%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 95.8%

12. Fort Worth, TX

Fort Worth Texas
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +90.1%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +2,056
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 37.5%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 26.9%

11. Wichita, KS

Wichita, Kansas
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +111.5%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +194
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 32.6%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 11.9%

10. Portland, OR

Houses in Portland, Oregon
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +113.7%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +1,359
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 84.3%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 79.0%

9.Seattle, Washington

Seattle Homes District
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +113.8%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +6,237
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 97.8%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 95.9%

8. Denver, CO

Homes in Denver, Colorado
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +117.1%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +4,558
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 84.5%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 71.9%

7. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh North Carolina home
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +121.5%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +2,816
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 79.1%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 65.2%

6. Milwaukee, Wis.

Milwaukee Homes
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +125.6%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +98
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 86.3%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 71.7%

5. Anaheim, California

Neighborhood of Anaheim California
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +129.8%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +471
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 90.8%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 95.0%

4. Aurora, CO

Aurora Colorado
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +214.2%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +1,418
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 49.8%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 35.9%

3. Dallas, TX

Dallas, TX
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +250.6%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +5,553
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 77.6%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 62.6%

2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia neighborhood houses
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +406.3%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +19 022
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 93.9%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 90.1%

1. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville Kentucky
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  • Percentage change in authorized multi-family dwellings (2020-2021): +1,506.9%
  • Total change of authorized multi-family units (2020-2021): +437
  • Multi-Family Units as a Percentage of Total Licensed Units (2021): 25.2%
  • Multifamily value as a proportion of the total authorized value (2021): 11.1%

Methodology

Man analyzing data on laptop
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The data used in this analysis comes from the US Census Bureau Building Permit Survey. To determine the cities with the largest increase in multi-family home construction, Construction Coverage researchers calculated the percentage change in multi-family units allowed between 2020 and 2021. The researchers also calculated the total change in multi-family units allowed between 2020 and 2021. , multi-family units as a proportion of total licensed units in 2021, and multi-family value as a proportion of total licensed value in 2021. To improve relevance, only cities with populations of at least 100,000 were included. Additionally, cities were grouped into cohorts by population: small (100,000 to 149,999), medium (150,000 to 349,999), and large (350,000+).

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