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Single-family starts up, multi-family results down, as central Ohio falls short of housing goal.

For Immediate Release


BIA of Central Ohio

Contact: Jon Melchi, Executive Director

Phone: 614-891-0575



Single-family starts up, multi-family results down, as central Ohio falls short of housing goal. 


While housing starts in central Ohio were the region’s second-strongest in 15-years, more than 1,000 fewer housing units were produced in 2021 compared to 2020 numbers, falling short of what is needed to accommodate current and future needs in the central Ohio region.   


Permit data provided by the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio (BIA), and collected by the housing market research firm Zonda, indicates that 10,859 housing permits were obtained by builders in 2021, a nearly 8.5% decrease from 2020 production.  


Strong gains were shown in the single-family market, where housing starts jumped 17% to 6,160 total permits, the highest since 2005.  


Multi-family permits dropped 29% from 6,620 units in 2020 to 4,699 last year. 


These 2021 permit numbers should be taken in the context of a 2018 regional housing assessment conducted by Vogt Strategic Insights (VSI) that demonstrated a need for approximately 14,000 housing units annually to meet regional growth and housing affordability challenges. 


BIA Executive Director Jon Melchi said, “Over the past two years, there has been a tremendous amount of uncertainty, but one thing that has remained constant is the demand for housing of all types throughout central Ohio. The biggest challenge we face locally is finding available land that can be approved for multi-family development and sufficient lots that will allow us to meet demand and affordability measures.” 


“Our region has a great opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the nation that you can indeed grow economically while maintaining affordability, access to amenities and resources and features that make our communities great. However, we must get out of the mindset that accommodating housing is someone else’s problem.”  


When compared to its economic competitors, the central Ohio region lagged Austin (45,581 housing permits), Nashville (27,961 housing permits), Charlotte (26,426 housing permits), Raleigh (21,460 housing permits) and Indianapolis (11,482 housing permits) in permitting activity. 


Melchi concluded, “We know that growth is coming and will continue. Now is the time for communities to update their land use plans and invest in their vital infrastructure to serve their current and future residents and businesses. A home is where a job goes to at night and we need to be thinking about both with the same intensity.”  



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