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Monthly Update: Building Permits

September '23, Latest Data
Published on 11/20/23

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The City of Houston issued $6.145 billion in building permits through the first nine months of ’23, down 5.7 percent from $6.519 billion over the comparable period in ’22. Adjusted for inflation, total permits are down 9.1 percent.

  • Nonresidential permits totaled $2.975 billion, down 20.8 percent from $3.757 billion in ’22. 
  • Residential permits totaled $3.169 billion, up 14.8 percent from $2.761 billion in ’22. 

Through September, the city has issued permits for:

  • $1.930 billion in commercial renovation work, up 3.1 percent from $1.872 billion over the comparable period in ’22,
  • $444.4 million in residential renovation work, up 24.1 percent from $358.0 million over the same period in ’22,
  • $1.044 billion in new commercial construction, down 44.6 percent from $1.885 billion in ’22, and
  • $2.724 billion for new residential construction (single-family, multifamily, duplexes), up 13.4 percent from the $2.403 billion in ’22.

The above values are all in nominal dollars.

Contract awards (which reflect construction activity in the near future) are down significantly in the metro area. Dodge Data & Analytics reports contracts totaling $24.748 billion were awarded in the first nine months of ’23, a 23.5 percent decrease from $32.344 billion over the comparable period in ’22. If not for a significant increase in non-building (i.e., infrastructure) projects, awards would have fallen even further.

Construction employment began to decline mid-year, shedding 4,200 jobs since July. The sector remains 19,900 jobs below where it was prior to the pandemic.

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
$6.145 billion

City of Houston building permits totaled $6.145 billion through Sept '23

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