Sunday, January 8, 2017

Vacancy rate in metro Denver falls to 1-year low of 5.1 percent

In yesterday's post, we looked at apartment rent growth in the metro Denver area, and we noted that rent growth, even though it's been lessening in recent quarters, has been quite strong over the past two years.

Not surprisingly then, we find that apartment vacancies have been relatively low. During the third quarter, metro Denver's vacancy rate was 5.1 percent. That's down from the second quarter rate of 5.4 percent in the second quarter, but it's up slightly from last year's third quarter when the vacancy rate was 5.0 percent:

The metro-wide vacancy rate is at a one-year low, but remains higher than during most of what we saw during 2012 and 2013 when population growth was strong, and new housing units were not being produced in the larger numbers that are being produced now. 

Traditionally, a vacancy rate of five percent has been called an "equilibrium" rate site it tends to imply neither a tight market, nor a market with excess supply. As an example of a tight market, we might look to the vacancy rates during the 1990s when vacancy rates frequently fell to levels near four percent (or even below). 

With a vacancy rate of five percent, we're likely seeing a reflection of the overall economy in which job growth is solid, and so is new construction in housing. The new construction means that, even with new job growth, demand is not driving vacancy rates down to historic lows as they did in the 90s. 

Indeed, one of the larger drivers of the vacancy rate has long been employment.  In the second graph we can see how the vacancy rate frequently moved along with the unemployment rate over the past 25 years. when the unemployment rate is low, vacancies tend to be low. When unemployment is high, the vacancy rate tends to be high.  In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and recession however, we saw that the market tightened even as the unemployment rate increased. This was likely due partially to the accompanying foreclosure crisis which drove many former homeowners into rental units. It was also likely due to the crash in housing-unit production that followed the 2008 financial crisis. Today, however, it is likely that we will see the two variables track more closely as housing-production levels return to more normal levels in the absence of large numbers of foreclosures. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Metro Denver rent growth falls to 3-year low in third quarter

According to new data from the Metro Denver Apartment Association, the average rent in the metro Denver area grew 5.9 percent from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016. That's the smallest year-over-year gain in the average rent since the second quarter of 2013.
The year-over-year growth rate has also been falling for the past five quarters. Year-over-year rent growth had reached an all-time high of 13.2 percent during the second quarter of 2015. Since then, the growth rate has gotten smaller each quarter, and as of the third quarter is now at a level not seen since the second quarter of 2013 when the year-over-year growth rate was 4.3 percent:

In the first graph, we see that rent growth had reached all-time highs last year, but things have since tapered off (the graph shows percentages):

At 5.9 percent, the growth rate for this year's third quarter is at a level that would have been considered very run-of-the-mill throughout the 1990s. Considering that new housing permits reached a 15-year high in metro Denver during October 2016, it may be that the period of surging rents in metro Denver is over for now. 

In the second graph, we see rent growth in non-inflation adjusted dollars over the past 35 years (the graph shows dollars): 
Although rent increases have been getting smaller, they do remain in positive territory, so we do see that the overall trend has certainly been upward. 

During the third quarter of 2016, the average rent in metro Denver was 1,358 dollars, which was up 5.9 percent from the third quarter of last year (when the average rent was $1,291), and down 0.2 percent from the second quarter (with an average rent of $1,371). It is very unusual, however, for the average rent to fall from the second quarter to the third quarter, further suggesting that the apartment market really is softening. 

Inflation-Adjusted Rents 

It is always a good idea to look at rental rates with an eye on the inflation-rate as well. In recent years, rent growth has generally outpaced the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and we see that is still the case as of the third quarter. (The CPI was up only 1.1 percent, year-over-year for the third quarter). However, we can see that rent growth, when we take inflation into account is less than it is in nominal terms. Adjusted for inflation, the average rent in metro Denver looks like this: 

As the CPI has been growing very slowly in recent years, we find little difference in the recent trend between the nominal numbers and the inflation-adjusted numbers. What's different in this case is the fact that rents can go down for years at a time  in real terms — as happened from 2001 to 2012. That has not the been the case since 2012, however, and even when adjusted for inflation, we find that rent growth has been substantial in recent years. However, as is the case with the nominal rents, the rate of year-over-year growth in rents has been falling for the past five quarters. 

The takeaway here is that rent growth continues to be positive, but the trend suggests we're already moving beyond last year's record-level rent growth and may very well be moving into a period of more moderate rent growth, especially in light of increased activity in single-family and multi-family construction. 

Home Loan Payoffs Down 2.6 Percent in Third Quarter of 2016

The number of mortgage loans paid off in Colorado was down 2.6 percent during 2016’s third quarter compared to the same period of last year. Mortgage payoff rose 21.6 percent from the second quarter to the third quarter of this year. 

Public trustees in Colorado released a total of 87,192 deeds of trust during the third quarter of 2016, indicating a sizable increase in the amount of home purchase and refinance activity since the first and second quarters of this year. Typically, a release of a deed of trust occurs when a real estate loan is paid off whether through refinance, sale of property or because the owner has made the final payment on the loan. Release activity rises as refinance and home-sale activity increases. 

In the first chart, we see release activity in the third quarter compared to the third quarter of last year: 

In this case, we see that Summit County and La Plata County reported the most release activity over the period, thus suggesting more sale and refi activity in those areas. The largest decreases, on the other hand, were found in Boulder County and Eagle county over the period suggesting less sales and refi activity. Overall, release activity fell in 11 counties while increasing  in 10 counties. 

The second chart shows release activity relative to the overall number of households in each county. A lower number indicates more release activity per household. 

In this case, there were only 7 households per release of deed of trust in Summit County, making it the most active county. The least active county was Pueblo County:

The third chart shows total releases for the first three quarters of this year compared to the same period last year. In this case, the largest increase was found in Alamosa County, and the largest decline was found in Eagle County. In the counties surveyed, activity fell 1.3 percent from 2015 to 2016. 

In this case, it appears some of the most expensive counties — in terms of real estate — have been experiencing some of the largest declines in activity while the largest increases are seen in the lower-cost counties such as Pueblo and Mesa. There are exceptions, however, as in the case of La Plata county, which is a relatively expensive county that is nonetheless seeing continued increases in release activity. 

Being largely driven by refi activity, release activity is sensitive to changes in mortgage rates.  In the next graph, we can see that following periods of decline in mortgage rates, release activity tends to rise. Release activity tends to fall in periods following increases in the mortgage rate: 

For example, note how release activity fell significantly during late 2013 and early 2014 following an uptick in mortgage rates during 2012 and 2013. Similarly, an increase in mortgage rates in 2015 likely contributed to a slight drop-off in release activity in early 2016. In 2016, however, mortgage rates have fallen, which helps explain the uptick in release activity during the third quarter of this year.  

Other factors are important too, however, and these include overall demand for housing, employment, and population growth. In Colorado, even in the face of increases in the mortgage rate, we often continue to see sustained real-estate transaction activity when jobs creation remains solid and population totals are steady or increasing. Overall, 2016 has seen little change from 2015 in terms of statewide release activity.

Barring a significant chance in economic conditions, this situation is likely to continue. 

(Totals for releases of deeds of trust are collected quarterly. This report tracks releases of deeds of trust as reported by public trustees in Colorado. The report includes twenty-one counties which are chosen based on population size and to ensure that as many regions of the state as possible are represented. More than 90 percent of all occupied households in Colorado are within the twenty-one counties chosen.)

Friday, December 30, 2016

November Foreclosure Sales in Colorado Metro Areas Continue to Fall to New Lows

During November 2016, there were 147 foreclosure sales in Colorado's metro areas, which means foreclosure sales totals are near the lowest levels ever recorded since the report was first initiated in 2007.

Foreclosure activity in general throughout 2016 has shown numerous declines throughout the year as home prices increase, job losses remain muted, and demand for real estate remains strong.

Foreclosure sales are the final stage of the foreclosure process when foreclosing properties are sold to a third party or become bank-owned.

In November, foreclosure sales were down 29 percent compared to November 2015 in the metro areas, falling from 207 during November 2015 to 147 during November 2016.

For the first eleven months of this year combined, there was a total of 2,138 foreclosure sales in Colorado's metro areas, which was down 26.3 percent compared to the same period of 2015, when there were 2,899 foreclosure sales.

Foreclosure filings, which are the first step in the foreclosure process, were up slightly in November 2016 compared to November of last year. There were 469 foreclosure filings in Colorado's metro areas, which is an increase of 0.9 percent over November 2015's total of 465. For the first eleven months of this year combined, foreclosure filings were down 5.8 percent, falling from 6,050 to 5,697 from 2016 to 2016.

2016's falling foreclosure totals continue a multi-year trend in foreclosures which have been declining since 2009 and are now at some of the lowest levels ever recorded.

The Colorado counties measured for this metro-area report are Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Pueblo, and Weld counties.

The report can be found below:

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Colorado Metro Foreclosures Hit New Low in September 2016

During September 2016 in Colorado's metro Counties, there were 438 new foreclosure filings. That's the lowest total ever recorded since I began tracking monthly totals in 2007. September 2016's total was down 13.2 percent from September 2015 when new foreclosure filings totaled 505.

"Filings" refers to "notices of election and demand" which are the first step in the foreclosure process. Filings had peaked at 4,030  in December 2007, but September 2016's total was down 89 percent from that peak. 

Foreclosure "sales," which are the point in the foreclosure process where foreclosing properties are sold off at auction, are also down considerable from the 2008 peak. during September 2016, there were 158 foreclosure sales in the metro counties. That's down 38 percent from September 2015, and it's down 94 percent from the peak of 2,706 in January 2008. 

Due to high price inflation for homes — and the related phenomena of high demand, moderate new construction, and rising population — foreclosure totals continue to decline, and show few signs of increasing substantially barring a significant change in current economic conditions. 

The counties included in this analysis — which constitute around 85 percent of statewide activity — include Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Mesa, Pueblo, and Weld counties. This data is collected from each county's public trustee office.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tax Return Data Shows Declining Average Tax Collections in Colorado

Most of the employment data used in economic trends analysis depends on survey data using samples. This data can be useful, but it's always helpful to have other sources to provide context to the data.

One way to analyze trends on an annual basis is to use tax return data. Tax return data, of course, is especially reliable because misrepresenting income on tax returns can bring stiff fines and even jail time. 

Specifically, there are at least two helpful data points here. One is the number of filers for each year. This tells us how many people (or joint filers) had enough income to necessitate filings a return. When the number of people with jobs declines, the number of filers will decline. What the job market is adding many new workers, the number of filers will tend to increase. 

Looking at the total number of filers putting in income tax returns, we see the following trend: 

Not surprisingly, as job growth surged at the end of the last economic boom, we saw total filers peak in 2008. After that, it took six years for total filers to return to where they were. Now, the total number of filers includes more than just full time workers. It can include people with other sources of income as well. Nevertheless, this does gives us some insight into how much job creation was taking place during this period. 

What we do find is that the last economic downtown was indeed rather severe, especially when we note that during the post-2002 downturn, filer totals returned to the former peak after only three years. 

Since 2014, filer totals has exceeded the peak.

As a second measure, we can also look at average tax collections. We find this by dividing gross tax collections (including individual income tax, employment taxes, and estate and trust income tax) by the number of income tax filers. This is just an estimate of total income taking place, of course, but using the same methodology over time, it does provide us with a trend. 

 I have also adjusted this for inflation (using the CPI). What we find here is that real real average income tax collections have been declining over time. 

Some of this may be due to people voluntarily retiring and accepting less income — and thus, a lower standard of living. But in many cases, it may also reflect declining real wages and a decline in the number of work hours. For example, we do know that nationwide, the number of workers who are involuntary part timers has been significantly higher during this cycle than during past cycles. 

In an earlier post, we also noted that real incomes in Colorado have been flat or declining, depending on the measure. We see a similar trend here to that found in median household income in Colorado (see original post):

Note: All data comes from annual "Internal Revenue Service Data Book." Calculation based on total  income tax collections found in Table 5. This is then divided by filer totals (individual income taxes) found in Table 3. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Colorado's homicide rate increases, Pueblo reports highest rate

The FBI released new homicide data yesterday showing the US nationwide homicide rate increased to 4.9 per 100,000. That's up from 2014's rate of 4.4 per 100,000.

Nevertheless, the US homicide rate remains near a 50 year low, and 2015's rate is comparable to homicide rates found during the late 1950s when the US was in the midst of a historical lull in homicide rates.

In Colorado, we find a similar situation. 2010's homicide rate was the lowest recorded since 1960, with 2015's rate up from that. However, the overall trend has generally been flat over the past ten years:

In 2015, the Colorado homicide rate increased to 3.2 per 100,000, up from 2014's rate of 2.8 percent. However, 2015's homicide rate is what in no way unusual compared to the last decade of data. These totals are among some of the lowest we've seen in decades.

We see little to suggest that the legalization of recreational cannabis use has led to any sizable increase in homicides, or that gun control measures in recent years have had any impact that is measurable.

Colorado's homicide rate increased 14 percent from 2014 to 2015, compared to a ten percent increase for the nation overall during the same period.

Compared to other states, Colorado has the 16th-lowest homicide rate in the nation. Nearby states in the northern Rocky Mountain region have some of the lowest homicide rates in the nation with Idaho coming in at 1.9 per 100,000, and Utah at 1.8 per 100,000:

For additional reference here is a map of all states:

As The New York Times and New York magazine recently reported, the nationwide increase in homicides was largely driven by increases  in violence in seven large cities nationwide. Denver was not among them.

Regional Differences

A with the nation overall, Colorado's homicide situation varies geographically. Within the state's metropolitan areas, the homicide rate ranges from 0.9 per 100,000 in Boulder to 8.0 in Pueblo. Pueblo's homicide rate is higher than both the statewide rate and the nationwide rate:

Homicides increased in Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Fort Collins. The rate in Greeley was unchanged. Homicides decreased over the year in Grand Junction and Boulder. Colorado overall remains remarkably safe in terms of homicides. With homicide rates around 2 per 100,000, northern Colorado and Western Colorado are among the safest places on earth.

Pueblo's rising homicide rates have been blamed on increasing gang activity.

Statewide in 2015, there were 176 recorded cases of "murder and nonnegligent manslaughter." That's up from 151 cases in 2014.

Of those 176 in Colorado, 108 were reported in the Denver metro area (with 53 in the city of Denver itself). 26 were reported in Colorado Springs and 13 in Pueblo. Pueblo's homicide rate is much higher, of course, because its population is considerably smaller than that of Colorado Springs or metro Denver.

In areas outside of Metro Denver, we're generally dealing with small numbers. Pueblo's total homicides increased 30 percent from 2014 to 2015, but that's an increase from 10 to 13 over the period. This hardly indicates an established trend toward an epidemic of violence. Nevertheless, one would prefer to see movement in the opposite direction.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How have oil prices affected Greeley employment?

According to the most recent employment data from the Department of Labor and Employment, there were  approximately 101,00 payroll jobs in Greeley during July 2016. That's up from the 98,000 jobs estimated during July of last year. However, total payroll employment in the region has gone only sideways since 2014.

In October of 2014, there were 102,000 jobs in the Greeley area, but since then, payroll employment has never exceeded 102,000 positions. In other words, employment growth has been flat for the past two years:

Compare this trend to the one in Fort Collins, right next door. In the case of Fort Collins, the overall job trend mirrors that of the state overall with an unbroken upward slope since 2009: 

Since 2014, unlike Greeley, Fort Collins has only continued upward on the same trend as before.

Oil prices, not surprisingly, appear to be a big factor in this trend in Greeley. Last December, for example, The Tribune reported that "Colorado's oil rigs drop to lowest in 13 years." By May of 2016, the Denver Post was reporting that rigs had dropped to a 16-year low.

In late 2014 and early 2015, oil prices plummeted from over 100 dollars per barrel to under 50 dollars per barrel. Nationwide, less-productive rigs shut down and national oil production fell.

This has had an impact on employment in the area, and we see it in the numbers.

In fact, during a seven month period in late 2015 and early 2016, job growth actually turned negative in the Greeley area. Meanwhile, the state of Colorado overall has not experienced year-over-year losses since 2010.

Here are the Greeley YOY changes. During July 2016, job growth was up 2.3 percent. But, that is on the fourth month in a row of growth following a period of decline. The graph shows how job growth began to disappear in 2015:

We can contrast this with the same time period in Fort Collins where job growth remains solid throughout the period. In July of 2016, there were 160,000 payroll jobs, which was an increase of 3 percent of the previous July.  In Fort Collins, that's a continuation of the general trend we've seen since 2012:

Of course, the decline of employment in Greeley doesn't mean there are immense numbers of unemployed people in Greeley now. Many of the newly-unemployed workers in Greeley moved away, as many of them were not native to Greeley in the first place. On the other hand, those temporary workers did often spend their wages in Greeley, enriching local businesses. Now that many of those workers have gone will mean a scaling back for the Greeley economy.

The magnitude of this remains, to be seen, however, and it look like the Greeley area has already returned to a period of job growth. For now.

Note on data: All this data comes from the "Establishment" survey of employment which measures payroll positions. It is different from the Household survey that is used to calculate the unemployment rate and which measures employed persons. Thus, the establishment survey can include part time positions, and a person holding two jobs could show up as two jobs in the establishment survey data. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Central Banks Hold Steady in August, No Sign of Rate Hikes

August is now behind us, and as a sign of the concern central bankers share over the weakness found in the world's major economies, there is no sign of any effort to rise target rates at central banks. 
From the Fed to the European Central Bank, to the Bank of England and beyond, there appears to be no appetite for attempting to return to more "normal" monetary policy. We're apparently in a state of virtual permanency when it comes to "extraordinary" monetary policy which involves keeping the target interest rate at zero or near zero for years on end. 
In fact, the only movement we've seen at a major central bank in recent days comes from the Bank of England where the bank cut the target rate from 0.5 percent to 0.25 percent. Except for that change, and continued declines in Australia, nothing has moved since last Spring: 
In late July, the Fed declined to raise the Federal Funds rate. But, of course, they maintained the usual posture of saying that a rate hike was just around the corner. Cutting through the posturing, Bloomberg wondered at the time if the Fed is becoming even more dovish. 
Now, the Fed appears likely to do nothing at its next meeting. The Wall Street Journal avers:
[W]ith inflation holding below the Fed’s 2% target and the unemployment rate little changed in recent months, senior officials feel little sense of urgency about moving and an inclination toward delay, according to their public comments and recent interviews.
This comes just weeks after the Bank of England cut its key interest rate to the lowest rate of its 322-year history, dropping the target rate to .25 percent. 
The given excuse for this was the chance that Brexit might lead to an economic slowdown. Thus, according to BofE Governor Mark Carney:
 “There is a clear case for stimulus, and stimulus now,” Mr. Carney said at a news conference, in the latest attempt by officials to reassure Britons that they are acting decisively.
Meanwhile, as one looks around the central-bank landscape, one is left wondering what central banks will do when something really goes wrong. With rates all already so close to zero (or even below zero) any serious economic disruption, such as an obvious recession, is increasingly likely to lead to helicopter money, negative rates, or an intensification of attacks on cash, such as that found in Ken Rogoff's recent book The Curse of Cash
Another possible route to "stimulus," of course, is good ol' fashioned fiscal policy such as spending on public works and other types of government spending. 
The European Central Bank urged European governments to do as much last week when ECB president Mario Draghi sang the praises of government stimulus and criticized Germany for not spending enough. 
The European economy overall is so weak, though, that projections suggest that even with massive amounts of monetary stimulus, price inflation will not reach the ECB's 2 percent target any time soon. With its credibility on the line, however, the ECB appears reluctant to cut its deposit rate even further below negative 0.4 percent, or its MRO rate below zero, where it already sits. 
"Wait and see" appears to be the approach for now.
Through August, here are central bank target rates and resources: 
  • USA: 0.5%
  • Canada: 0.5%
  • UK: 0.25%
  • Australia: 1.5%
  • China: 4.35%
  • ECB: -0.4%
  • Japan: -0.1%
The rates used for this analysis are: 
Here's a look at recent changes in closer detail:

Colorado Springs average rent grows by all-time high of 10.2 percent

During the second quarter of 2016, rent growt hin Colorado springs hit an all-time high of 10.2 percent, bringing the average rent in the metro area to 991 dollars, which is also an all-time high. That's up from the first quarter  of this year when the average rent was 959. The average rent during the second quarter of last year was 899 dollars.

According to data released by the Colorado Division of Housing, the average rent in Colorado Springs continues to grow at a historically high rates:

The last time the average rent grew at a similar rate was during the dot-com boom at the very end of the 1990s. If we look at the average rent over, time, we find that the general trend has, not surprisingly been upward, but has increased more rapidly over the past five years than was the case during the previous decade:

Looking just at nominal rent levels, however, can be misleading, and if we adjust for inflation using the nationwide CPI, we find that rents actually went down in real terms from 2003 to 2009. While there was some growth from 2009 to 2013, we see that even in inflation-adjusted terms that rent growth has picked up since 2014. Real rents only surpassed the 2001 high in 2014 following a long period of flat rents. Now, however, inflation-adjusted rents have surpassed the old 2001 peak, and have set several new all-time highs in recent quarters:

As one might expect, this year's robust rent growth reflects low vacancy rates. While not setting any records, the vacancy rates for Colorado Springs over the past year have been generally rather low, with the vacancy rate even dipping below five percent twice over the past two years. (A vacancy rate below five percent is generally regarded as "low".) In any case, recent vacancy rates are among the lowest we've seen since the dot-com boom days, and certainly among the lowest we've seen over the past decade.

Finally, we should note that vacancy rates and rents can be significantly affected by seasonal issues, with the fourth quarter often showing the softest markets each year, with the third quarter often showing the strongest markets. 

So, it can be helpful to compare vacancy rates to the same quarters in previous years. In the final graph, we see the second quarter of this year compared to previous years. 2016's second quarter vacancy rate was higher than the previous year, but nevertheless remains near a ten-year low. 

With some of the highest foreclosure rates among metro counties in Colorado, and with a fairly sedate job market compared to Denver and northern Colorado, Colorado Springs has been more slow to experience strong price growth in housing. However, over the past two years, it has become clear that Colorado Springs is now seeing unusually high growth in rents and housing demand. Future rents will depend partially on new housing construction, and we'll look at that in a future post.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Bankruptcy filings up 11 percent from July to August, contrary to the usual trend

According to federal bankruptcy court records, there were 1,106 bankruptcy filings in Colorado during August. That's up 11 percent from July's total of 990, and it's down 8.5 percent from August 2015's total of 1,208.

Overall, the general trend has been downward since 2010, as we can see in the first graph:

An unusual thing happened in August, though: bankruptcy filings increased from July to August. Since 2007, this only happened once before, during 2011.  In other words, bankruptcies usually fall during this period, but from July to August of this year, bankruptcies rose at the highest rate experience since 2006:

It remains to be seen whether or not this signals a change in the downward trend we've seen seeing for the past six years.

There have been other indicators, though, that this year bankruptcy activity has been leveling off, rather than continuing the sharp down ward trend that we saw from about 2012 to 2015. The next graph shows how year-over-year changes in bankruptcy activity has been rather sizable with year-over-year declines of 20 percent or more being rather common. So far, this year, the degree to which filings have been declining become smaller compared to 2015. From August 2015 to August 2016, bankruptcies fell 8.5 percent. From August 2014 to August 2015, bankruptcies fell 16.9 percent.
Are bankruptcies surging in Colorado? At this time, there's not enough or an established trend to say this, although the most recent data may suggest that the most robust portion of the current expansion may be softening. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Housing construction rising in Pueblo,but not by much

Through July of this year, the Pueblo area reported 156 permits for private housing units. That's an increase of 13.3 percent compared to 2015, although overall permitting activity is up from the low points experienced in the wake of the 2007-2009 recession. (All permit data used in this article is form the Census Bureau.)

The first graph shows total permit activity for each year for the period of January-July:

While permits are down this year compared to last, they are nonetheless up compared to every year in the period from 2011-2014.

Over the past decade, only three years showed increases over the previous year. The second graph shows year-to-year change in permits for the period from January-July (values are in %):

Most of the past decade has reflected an experience of declining permit activity from the housing-bubble highs prior to 2008. A significant decline began in 2007 and the area really didn't begin to show signs of life again until 2015.

The vast majority of this activity is in singlefamily homes, as the next graph shows. The red bars show where multifamily units were built in addition to singlefamily units. Small numbers of multifamily units were built in a number of months during 2008 and 2009. However, after 2009, multifamily units only register in six months of the more than 80 months that have passed since then. The last multifamily permitting that took place was in May 2015 when 62 units were permitted for a senior housing project known as Oakshire Trails.

Other than that, multifamily housing construction has been exceedingly rare in recent years.

Needless to say, the Pueblo area has not experienced the same sort of apartment demand that was notably strong in the metro Denver area from 2012 to around 2015.

Singlefamily housing has slowly come back since 2011, but gains have been slow and measured. Nevertheless, if we look just at singlefamily permits (excluding multifamily) for the period of Jan-July, we find that 2016's singlefamily activity is at an eight-year high:

Moreover, with the exception of the change from 2011-2012, the year-over-year increases for 2015-2016 was at a ten-year high through July of this year.