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CLIPBOARD : Multifamily Home Futures

February 16, 1991

The tenuous bright spot in the gloom of the home-building picture for 1990 was multifamily homes--condos, apartments and the like. Although December's total of multifamily home permits was the lowest number issued during any month in the last five years, it was enough to leave the 1990 total, 8,556, just slightly lower than 1989's 8,608.

While the 1990 figure is far below those recorded during the 1985-'88 period (during which more than 11,000 permits were let annually), it was nearly in line with the 1980s' decade average, 8,752.

In addition to the countywide decline, there were decreases in the unincorporated areas and 13 of the county's cities, most notably Anaheim. There were gains in 10 cities, with the largest jumps occurring in Tustin and Irvine. And, for the second consecutive year, no such permits were let for work in five cities--Fountain Valley, La Palma, Seal Beach, Villa Park and Yorba Linda.

Here's how 1990 compared to 1989 in the cities and unincorporated areas, listed from the largest decrease to the largest increase:

1989-'90 City 1989 1990 Difference Anaheim 1,397 403 -994 Fullerton 612 107 -505 Mission Viejo 444 0 -444 Santa Ana 228 35 -193 Newport Beach 216 61 -155 Huntington Beach 267 114 -153 San Clemente 162 42 -120 Buena Park 187 86 -101 Unincorporated areas 3,822 3,726 -96 Costa Mesa 108 98 -10 Placentia 47 40 -7 Stanton 24 17 -7 La Habra 20 15 -5 San Juan Capistrano 4 0 -4 Fountain Valley 0 0 No change La Palma 0 0 No change Seal Beach 0 0 No change Villa Park 0 0 No change Yorba Linda 0 0 No change Laguna Beach 2 6 +4 Los Alamitos 14 19 +5 Westminster 42 72 +30 Dana Point * 36 69 +33 Brea 22 57 +35 Cypress 27 80 +53 Garden Grove 192 335 +143 Orange 92 391 +299 Irvine 487 1,311 +824 Tustin 156 1,444 +1,288 Laguna Niguel ** N/A 28 -- COUNTY TOTAL 8,608 8,556 -52

*New city for 1989 tabulations; 1989 data before June is included in "unincorporated areas" total.

**New city for 1990 tabulations; 1990 data before July is included in "unincorporated areas" total.

Source: Construction Industry Research Board

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