DENVER (KDVR) — Fewer housing structures are being permitted around Denver now than in the last two years, and a smaller share of them are single-family homes than ever before.
The Denver metro home construction market boomed through the 2010s following a rapid drop-off after the Great Recession. There were an average of 2,400 new units of all sizes permitted in the summer of 2001, which sank to 200 by the spring of 2009.
That rebounded to over 1,900 by 2017. After the COVID pandemic triggered a house-buying spree in Colorado, even more building permits came through. By February 2022, there were an average of 2,640 permits a month – the most at any point since at least 1990.
The number of housing permits around Denver has taken a nosedive since last year though, according to data from the St. Louis Fed.
There are still more housing permits being issued than at most points in Colorado’s history, but that number has crashed in the last year. Between February 2022 and March 2023, the 12-month average of housing construction permits tanked 27% – the sharpest drop in permits since 2001.
The homes now are getting denser and denser as well as fewer and fewer. A smaller share of housing permits than ever are for single-family homes.
An average of 39% of the housing permits in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro were for single units in February 2023. This is the lowest the St. Louis Fed’s records show. Since 1990, single units have been more than half of the permits issued for all but a handful of months, on average.
This is a recent trend. Every single month of 2022 has had a lower share of single units being permitted than any month since 1990.