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California Home Construction Dips in May

July 04, 2002|Daryl Strickland

California home construction dipped in May, brought down by a plunge in new multifamily units that reflected a slower pace of construction in most of the major markets.

Builders pulled permits at an annual rate of 149,350 units, dropping more than 5% from April and 3% from a year earlier, according to a state analysis of industry figures.

The output for May reflected one of the slowest rates of production this year. State analysts estimate that more than 200,000 units are needed to keep pace with population growth.

"These numbers just aren't keeping up," said Howard Roth, chief economist for the Department of Finance.

Planned construction of apartments, condominiums and townhomes plunged statewide by nearly 30% from a year ago. Single-family units rose nearly 9%.

In Los Angeles County, total permits dropped nearly 12% from a year earlier, almost entirely because of reduced multifamily production, according to the Construction Industry Research Board, a Burbank firm that tracks home building.

Orange County posted a 20% increase in home production from a weak number posted a year earlier, the figures showed.

Daryl Strickland

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