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Monthly Update: Building Permits

October '23, Latest Data
Published on 1/3/24

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The City of Houston issued $6.655 billion in building permits through the first ten months of ’23, down 6.0 percent from $7.082 billion over the comparable period in ’22. Adjusted for inflation, total permits are down 8.9 percent.

  • Nonresidential permits totaled $1.021 billion, down 47.9 percent from $1.962 billion in ’22. 
  • Residential permits totaled $3.005 billion, up 10.6 percent from $2.718 billion in ’22.
  • Permits for additions and alterations, both residential and nonresidential, totaled $2.627, up 9.5 percent from $2.400 billion in ’22.

Adjusted for inflation, nonresidential permits are down 49.6 percent, residential permits are up 7.2 percent, and alterations and additions are up 6.0 percent compared to last year.

Contract awards (which reflect construction activity in the near future) are down significantly in the metro area. Dodge Data & Analytics reports contracts totaling $28.022 billion were awarded in the first ten months of ’23, a 20.1 percent decrease from $35.061 billion over the comparable period in ’22. If not for an increase in non-building (i.e., infrastructure projects), awards would have fallen even further.

Construction employment never fully recovered from the losses incurred in the early stages of the pandemic. As of November ’23, the sector had 19,000 fewer jobs than in February ’20. Given the ongoing drop in permits and awards, the sector will likely continue to lose jobs in ’24.

Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research Division 

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Chief Economist
Senior Vice President, Research

Leta Wauson
Research Director


Key Economic Indicators Real Estate Building Activity
$6.655 billion

City of Houston building permits totaled $6.655 billion through Oct '23

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