CIRB Publishes Official 2019 Permit Statistics

Preliminary 2019 statistics produced a 7% total unit decrease from 2018, but final permit numbers revealed a 5.6% single and multifamily unit decrease last year


The Construction Industry Research Board (CIRB Report) released the 2019 Annual Building Permit Summary Report in May of 2020, revealing a 5.6% single and multifamily housing unit decrease compared to the prior year.

Preliminary 2019 statistics initially produced a 7% total unit decrease from 2018, but final permit numbers, acquired from gathering monthly construction data directly from California building departments, adjusted the percentage to -5.6%.

The CIRB Report’s 2019 Annual Summary includes a variety of economic information for a comprehensive analysis of factors affecting construction activity in California, such as:

  • California and US employment statistics for the construction sector
  • The largest (dollar volume) permitted project in California in 2019
  • 2020 housing unit forecasts* from CIRB, UCLA, the California Economic Forecast, and others
  • MetroStudy ranking of the top homebuilders in California in 2019

In addition to detailed residential and commercial permit activity for all 539 cities in California, the CIRB 2019 Annual also includes a historical trends chart going back to 1991 and a graph depicting housing units issued from 2005-2020 (forecasted*).

This chart verifies 2019 as the first year since 2009 that California has issued fewer housing units than the year prior.

The Annual Report is now available for purchase at cirbreport.org/reports and includes a complimentary 2020 subscription to CIRB’s monthly California Construction Review (CCR).

Current subscribers to CIRB’s CCR or Energy Permit Summary Report can contact CHF-CIRB@mychf.org for a discounted copy of the 2019 Annual.

*Housing forecasts have been marginally adjusted due to the economic impact of COVID-19