Is The Big Apple Building Boom Coming To An End?

The city sees a staggering 40 percent drop in building applications since 2015.

By Jeff Vasishta January 9, 2017

New construction applications went down a massive 38 percent since 2015—but fearing the worst may be premature. New York City’s building business is still on solid ground. The numbers on both sides of 2015 reflected the mad scramble to get applications in before the city’s 421-A tax abatement laws expired—and a slow down after it elapsed.

The 2014 numbers, even by NYC’s heady standards, were phenomenal. In total, 44,817 new applications were filed for single and multi-unit development projects. In conjunction with the frenzy to beat the tax abatement deadline, a perfect storm of available land and lending also prevailed.

RelatedNew Deconstruction Methods Replace Noisy And Toxic Building Demolition

Manhattan didn’t register too much of a dip, with numbers down from 5,593 to 4,193, reports New York Yimby. Queens saw the applications drop from 9,591 to 5,981. Brooklyn was impacted even worse, with numbers dropping from 11,554 to 6,449. The Bronx took a sucker punch to the gut with 6,317 units filed in 2015 to 3,919 in 2016, and Staten Island rounded out the five boroughs’ blue mood with a fall from 1,214 to 831.

So what does it all mean? Although a drop in applications doesn’t sound like good news, numbers for the previous two years might have gone up for artificial reasons. Expecting them continue unabated would be like expecting Usain Bolt to run at his 100 meter pace when running twice around the track.

RelatedDevelopers Resuscitate Abandoned Home Sites In A Sign Of New Housing Boom

The fact that hotel permits went up by 30 percent is interesting on a number of levels. It shows that Airbnb hasn’t dented confidence in the hospitality business. Also, it also reflects that NYC is becoming city for visitors rather than renters and home owners. Exorbitant rents and purchase prices are driving potential residents elsewhere.

Don’t expect the downtown in development to register too dramatically this year. The permits filed in 2014 are now bearing fruit with the finished structures transforming NYC’s skyline. However, the numbers might continue their free fall in 2017. So, now would be the time for savvy developers to hold on to their cash until things bottom out.

It all sounds rather familiar, doesn’t it?

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

    Avocado toasts are the reason why millennials can’t afford a home, says one Australian real estate developer. #AvocadoToast #Millennials
    Five years on since Superstorm Sandy, Queens’ coastal peninsula is in the midst of a development boom. #Development #Rockaways
    It turns out, renters can’t get enough of good ol’ no-doorman-no-frills apartments. Too bad developers aren’t building any. #Doorman #LuxuryRentals
The Housing Market In Shenzhen, The Silicon Valley of China, Slows In 2017
The city of Shenzhen has been on the real estate radar for quite some time. It is known as the Silicon Valley of China. Many…
Developers Jump Aboard The Trend To Revamp Transit Hubs And Remake Cities
Never has the often used marketing term, “close to transportation” been more important when attracting home buyers. These days it’s not just homes that are…
Millennials Are Fueling The Current Sizzling Real Estate Market
Ever wondered why the hosts of home improvement shows seem to be getting progressively younger, along with the fresh-faced couples getting their new properties made…
The Best Cities For Recent Grads To Rent – Without Blowing Their Entire Paycheck
What’s next post graduation? For most, the logical answer is to find a job. After the excitement of finishing your studies and the big celebration,…
Luxury Knows No Limit In Malaysia As A Deluge Of New Developments Hit The Market
The amount of newly constructed high-end real estate in Malaysia is almost as abundant as the lush vegetation which covers the tropical landscape. Despite vacant…
Don’t Call It A Commune – Upscale Co-Living Is Attracting Major Development
What may have once been referred to as a commune is today termed a co-living space. The big news that it’s not hippies with hemp…
It’s Official—New York Is Now The Most Expensive City In The World To Build
As if you didn’t already know, it’s expensive to build in New York City. Not just expensive but now officially the most expensive place in…
An Ultimate Destination For The Most Comprehensive Real Estate Data, Agorafy Prepares To Launch Nationwide
In the coming days, Agorafy will be entering a new chapter. It is the beginning of a new growth cycle in real estate technology with…

TOP 10