California new-home building permits down 56% in January compared with December, 5% year-over-year, attributed to rush to pull permits in December before code changes became effective in January: CBIA

SACRAMENTO , March 2, 2011 (press release) – California homebuilders pulled permits for fewer new homes in January when compared to the same month a year earlier, the California Building Industry Association announced today.

According to statistics compiled by the Construction Industry Research Board (CIRB), permits were pulled for 2,920 total housing units in January, down 5 percent from the same month a year ago and down 56 percent from December. Permits for single-family homes totaled 1,506, down 24 percent from January 2010 and down 55 percent from the previous month, while multifamily permits totaled 1,414, up 28 percent from a year ago but down 57 percent from December.

Mike Winn, CBIA’s President and CEO, noted that the decline could be attributed to the rush to pull permits in December before new code changes became effective in January.

“We saw a surge in permits pulled in December due to new regulations requiring fire sprinklers in all new-homes which can easily add $3,000-$8,000 to the cost of a new home,” said Winn. “When compared to January of last year, the decline is much smaller, and we hope to see increases and a stronger homebuilding recovery going forward.”

Winn noted that CIRB is now projecting 62,000 total permits will be pulled in 2011, up 38 percent from 2010’s total of 44,893 permits, but still down from 2008’s total of 64,962.


The California Building Industry Association is a statewide trade association representing thousands of homebuilders, remodelers, subcontractors, architects, engineers, designers, and other industry professionals. More information is available on the Association's Web site,

The Construction Industry Research Board (CIRB) is a nonprofit research center established in 1974 to provide statistical information on the California building and construction industry. More information is available on the CIRB Web site,

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