California home production continued at a near-record pace in September as both single-family and multifamily construction, while down a bit from the previous month, continued to show strong, year-over-year increases, the California Building Industry Association reported today.

Housing starts as measured by building permits issued were down slightly in September compared to August but up significantly from September 2003. A total of 17,118 permits were issued in September, 6.7 percent less than the previous month but 15.6 percent more than September of last year.

Single-family construction, once again, down from the previous month, continued the trend of strong year-over-year gains with permits issued totaling 12,450 in September, down 7 percent from the previous month but up a solid 9.7 percent from September 2003.

Multifamily units totaled 4,668 in September, down 5.8 percent from August but up a resounding 34.8 percent from September 2003. 

When adjusted for seasonality and the number of business days, September’s permits issued add up to an annual total of 215,100 units, the highest rate this year, up 2.2 percent from August 2004 and up 16.5 percent from September 2003.

For the first nine months of 2004, total housing starts as measured by permits issued totaled 156,788, up 10,817 (7.4 percent) from the prior year, according to the Construction Industry Research Board. During that time period, 16 of the state’s 28 metropolitan areas recorded an increase in the total number of housing permits issued and 16 of the 28 have posted gains in single-family permits compared to 2003.

The California Building Industry Association is a statewide trade association representing more than 6,000 businesses in the home construction industry.

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