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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

March 16, 2023


Month over month (Feb 23 vs Jan 22, seasonally adjusted annualized rates)                                                     

According to the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, residential building permits grew 13.8% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,524,000 permits in February 2023. Permits for single unit structures were up 7.6% while those for structures with 2 to 4 units decreased 13.0%. Permits for structures with 5 units or more were up 24.3%.

Compared to January 2023, US housing starts grew 9.8% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,450,000.  Single dwelling unit starts increased 1.1% while starts for structures with 5 or more units were up 24.1%.

Year over year (Feb 23 vs Feb 22, seasonally adjusted annualized rates)                                                             

Compared to February 2022, residential building permits declined by 17.9% driven by declines primarily in single dwelling units. Permits for single unit structures fell 35.5%. Permits for structures with 2 to 4 units were down 13.0% while permits for structures with 5 units or more grew 16.9%.

Compared to the same month in 2022, US housing starts declined 18.4% in February 2023.  Starts for single unit structures decreased 31.6% and starts for structures with 5 or more units were up 14.3%.                                                     

Year to date (Jan-Feb 23 vs Jan-Feb 22)

During the first two months compared to the same time in 2022 residential building permits were down 22.6% also driven primarily by single dwelling units. Single unit structures fell 37.6%. Permits for structures with 2 to 4 units were down 9.0% and permits with 5 units or more grew 6.5%.

Housing starts were declined 19.5% during the first two months with single unit dwellings down 30.3%. Housing starts for units with 5 or more were up 6.5% compared to the same period in 2022.


Source: US Census Bureau New Residential Construction 

US Census Bureau - retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Monthly data

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