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Strong Multifamily Sector Drives New Construction in 2014

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Construction on the whole was positive in 2014, but that was mostly due to the surging multifamily sector.

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Private construction may have been up 4.5 percent in 2014, but it was the multifamily housing market that drove that activity, according to our analysis of new numbers from the Census Bureau.

Indeed, the stats are striking. Though single-family construction rose 11 percent from 2013 to 2014, multifamily construction rose a remarkable 27.78 percent – and that’s for a year when overall residential construction activity (including remodeling projects) fell 4 percent!

2014 – The Year of Multifamily Construction

The level of multifamily construction in 2014 the strongest sign yet that new construction – and the housing market, by extension – has shifted considerably away from single-family homes towards rental multifamily construction, with stagnant wages, damaged credit scores and tight lending standards being the chief causes for the shift.

See our graph below for a better understanding of how multifamily construction has flourished in recent years, and stay tuned this week for more local reporting on construction trends.

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