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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

April 18, 2023


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

According to the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, residential building permits declined 8.8% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,413,000 permits in March 2023. Permits for single unit structures were up 4.1% while those for structures with 2 to 4 units increased 10.6%. Permits for structures with 5 units or more were down 24.3%.

Compared to February 2023, US housing starts declined 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,420,000. Single dwelling unit starts increased 2.7% while starts for structures with 5 or more units were down 6.7%.

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

Compared to March 2022, residential building permits declined by 24.8% driven by declines primarily in single dwelling units. Permits for single unit structures fell 29.7%. Permits for structures with 2 to 4 units were down 7.1% and permits for structures with 5 units or more declined 17.7%.

Compared to the same month in 2022, US housing starts declined 17.2% in March 2023. Starts for single unit structures decreased 27.7% and starts for structures with 5 or more units were up 6.1%.                                                     

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

During the first three months compared to the same time in 2022 residential building permits were down 22.9% also driven primarily by single dwelling units. Single unit structures fell 34.7%. Permits for structures with 2 to 4 units were down 8.4% and permits with 5 units or more declined 1.2%.

Housing starts declined 18.9% during the first three months with single unit dwellings down 29.2%. Housing starts for units with 5 or more were up 5.3% 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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