Architectual Billings and Housing Permits Up as Multifamily Gathers Steam

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 19 2012 12:00 PM

Architectual Billings and Housing Permits Up as Multifamily Gathers Steam

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The Architectual Billings Index is up for a fourth month in a row and though housing starts ticked down slightly, the much-more-accurate housing permits series showed continued growth. An interesting trend is that, as you can see above, the share of multifamily projects in the overall mix has been increasing and is much higher than what we saw in the 1990s or the aughts.

That in turn has implications for the housing economy, since the firms and workers who have the right skills for multifamily construction probably aren't identical to the ones who were doing single family homes during the previous long construction boom.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.