The expectations were high, but how are they now with only two more months of permit numbers left to analyze this year? As of October 2016, statewide total units for the past 10 months are neck-and-neck compared to October 2015 units year-to-date. Permit issuance accelerated in spring of 2016 and cooled off in the summer—activity consistent with that of 2015.
New housing units in 2015 capped off with 98,233, which missed the mark of 107,586 total forecasted units for 2015 calculated in the 2014 Annual Report by over 9,000 units. Sources like UCLA clearly expect a major surge of new units issued in the remaining couple of months, which may be attributed to the new energy code changes taking effect January 2017.
We've seen it before in December of 2013 when almost 4,000 new units were issued compared to the previous month, so a surge is certainly possible. However, since year-to-date October 2016 total units are hovering around 82,000, even an extra 5,000 units issued in both November and December would only put California at 92,000 total annual housing units.
CIRB's Conclusion: expect the unexpected. 118,100 total units seem overly ambitious for 2016, but it's quite possible that our state can break or exceed 100,000 new units at year's end—for the first time since 2007.
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