New Residential Development Growth, Growth, and More Growth

The current political landscape may resemble a jungle (or the dark side of the moon), but one thing’s for sure: the unrest and uncertainty on that front hasn’t slowed the brisk pace—or sky-high price tags—of New York City residential development. While the recent recession slowed new construction to a crawl, 2015-16 is a very different story. 

Scores of cranes, welders, and work crews have been back at work for the last couple of years, rushing to supply the seemingly ceaseless demand for new units and to beat the expiry of the 421-a tax abatement, which granted developers a break on taxes in return for allocating a certain percentage of their new units for (by New York City standards, at least) affordable housing. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, in the first six months of 2015, developers got clearance from the city to build just over 42,000 new units of housing. According to the New York City Rent Guidelines Board’s annual report, that’s up sharply from 2014, which saw a total of 20,483 new units permitted by the city. 

A Numbers Game

According to Halstead Properties’ annual report, Q4 of 2015 saw a 75% jump in the number of closings in new buildings compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, with the latest apartments selling for an average of $3,118,536; 8% less than the year prior. (This decline was due to some notable closings in 2014, including a record-setting $100 million sale at One57, the 90-story ‘Billionaire Building’ at 157 West 57th St. in Manhattan.) The median price was $1,987,500— 17% higher than a 2014. For a more detailed, borough-by-borough recap, plus industry pros’ forecasts for 2016, check out the Market Forecast article elsewhere in this edition of The Cooperator. 

A total of about 13,000 new condo apartments will be built through the end of 2016, most of which will be priced at least $3,000 per square foot, according to Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel.


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