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CLIPBOARD : Multifamily Home Futures

May 25, 1991

After falling to a five-year low in January, permits for multifamily housing sustained a second consecutive monthly gain in March, the most recent month for which information is available. There were 316 permits issued in March, nearly triple February's 115, which itself was double the 57 permits of January. That's the good news.

The bad news:

* This was the lowest March total in any of the last six years.

* It was the lowest total for any month during the 1986-90 period except for November, 1989, and December, 1990.

* It was the lowest January-March total during any of the last six years, 70% less than the comparable 1989 total, which was the second lowest for the six-year interim.

Contrasted with the first three months of 1990, there were fewer permits issued this year in 12 cities and the unincorporated areas of the county. The municipal declines in Orange, Irvine and Garden Grove were the most precipitous. There were increases in five cities.

Here's how the cities stack up, listed from the largest decrease to the largest increase in permits issued:

Jan.-March Jan.-March 1990-'91 1990 1991 Difference Unincorporated areas 692 136 -556 Orange 378 0 -378 Irvine 307 0 -307 Garden Grove 248 0 -248 Buena Park 55 0 -55 Cypress 42 0 -42 Tustin 37 5 -32 Westminster 34 3 -31 Dana Point 30 6 -24 Santa Ana 16 0 -16 Stanton 14 0 -14 Costa Mesa 10 4 -6 Newport Beach 18 12 -6 Brea 2 2 No change Fountain Valley 0 0 No change Fullerton 7 7 No change La Palma 0 0 No change Laguna Beach 0 0 No change Mission Viejo 0 0 No change Placentia 0 0 No change San Juan Capistrano 0 0 No change Seal Beach 0 0 No change Villa Park 0 0 No change Yorba Linda 0 0 No change Huntington Beach 40 42 +2 La Habra 0 2 +2 San Clemente 12 19 +7 Los Alamitos 0 11 +11 Anaheim 55 201 +146 Laguna Niguel * N/A 38 -- COUNTY TOTAL 1,997 488 -1,509

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

Source: Construction Industry Research Board

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