Building permits in California plunged 10 percent in July, the lowest level since the Great Recession in 2008, according to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office.

In total, 8,640 permits were issued across the state in July while 61,200 permits were issued during the first seven months of 2019, a year-over-year decrease of 10 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

While multifamily permits make up approximately half (29,100) of all permits issued in California, they’re down 23 percent over the first seven months of 2019. Single-family units, of which California issued 32,100 permits last month, are down 3 percent in July and 10 percent in the first seven months of 2019.

If building permit levels do not pick up in the second half of 2019, California could issue less than 100,000 permits in 2019, according to the report.

“The recent slowdown in housing permits is the most severe since the Great Recession,” the report reads. “Since 1990, only two other time periods — the first half of 1990s and the Great Recession — have had permitting declines as significant as the state has experienced over the past year.”

While California is a more extreme example, building permits are also down nationwide. In June, they dropped 6.1 percent while the Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently called the U.S. housing market “anemic” and “lackluster.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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