A new report found that construction was booming across New York City in 2021 compared to previous years.
The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) recently released its latest Quarterly Construction Pipeline Report, which examines the new building job application filings submitted to the NYC Department of Buildings for the fourth quarter of 2021. According to its findings, there were 665 new building filings for the fourth quarter of 2021, a 37% increase from the previous quarter and a 22% increase year-over-year.
This increase is the largest number of new building filings in a single quarter since Q2 2016, even more so than the historical average of 503 quarterly filings since Q1 2008.
“This significant quarterly increase in large-scale construction is creating good jobs and much-needed housing at a critical moment in the City’s path to full economic recovery,” said REBNY President James Whelan. “But we can’t take our eye off the ball – and we still have a long way to go toward meeting our city’s long-term needs. City and State leaders must stay focused on advancing a strong recovery and working with the private sector to continue making progress on new construction activity, job creation and housing production over the months and years to come.”
The fourth quarter brought the number of construction filings up to 1,914 in 2021, a 10.5% increase since 2020. The numbers in 2021 are comparable to those in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The amount of proposed construction in square footage totaled 31.65 million square feet during Q4 2021, a 290% increase from the previous quarter and a nearly 180% increase year-over-year, marking the largest total proposed construction square footage in a single quarter since Q3 2014 (11.58 million square feet). The increase is due to the rising amount of large-scale construction projects with 26 new filings in Q4 2021. The total square footage throughout 2021 was approximately 54 million square feet.
The report found that 24,834 proposed filings for new multiple dwelling residential units in Q4 2021, more than a 300% increase from the previous quarter and a 240% increase year-over-year. This marks the largest number of multiple dwelling filings since Q1 2008, and a 50% increase compared to the previous high in Q3 2014. The total number of proposed multiple dwelling units throughout the entire year totaled 42,207, a 54% increase compared to 2020.
The report suggests that the activity needs to be seen in the context of New York City’s long-term housing needs, which are greater than the current levels of production. According to a recent AKRF report commissioned by REBNY, New York City needs to produce 560,000 new homes by 2030 in order to keep pace with the projected population and job growth. The report also found that New York City’s current development pipeline only covers approximately 14% of overall housing needs.
“New York’s construction and real estate industries have been nothing but resilient since the beginning of the pandemic, and this report is just the latest sign of that extraordinary resiliency – from its leadership to the hardworking men and women who make construction possible,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “While this is certainly good news for New York, it’s critical that we keep focused on ensuring this positive progress continues and that the creation of middle-class careers with benefits through the construction industry remains central to the city’s economic recovery.”
Click here to read the full report.