Even as COVID-19 has continued to spread in Los Angeles, developers have pushed forward with construction on a handful of large, visible projects in neighborhoods such as Downtown and Hollywood.  But while new towers have continued to reshape the region's skyline, new statistics highlight how the pandemic has impacted the broader real estate and construction industries.

Over the final three months of 2020, the Department of Building and Safety issued 23 percent fewer construction permits than in the same period in 2019.  Likewise, the number of plan checks - a bellwether for future permits - dropped by 26 percent, and inspections - which indicate active construction sites - decreased 17 percent year-over-year.

Permits, inspections, and plan-checks between October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020

The total estimated value of the projects approved between October and December of 2020 was $1.5 billion - a 42 percent decline from the $2.6-billion total for the same timeframe in 2019.

Roughly one third of the $1.5 billion in projects permitted during the final months of 2020 can be accounted for by five projects: Mitsui Fudosan America's Fig & 8th tower, a revamp of LAX Terminal 3, the Hollywood Arts Collective, and CityView's 5935 Pico and Adams & Grand apartments.

The Department of Building and Safety's budget projections for fiscal year 2020-2021 anticipate that $6.3 billion worth of projects will be permitted - a steep drop from the $7.8 billion anticipated for fiscal year 2019-2020, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.