The New York Buildings Department released figures recently showing that the number of permits issued for demolition, construction, and new buildings all were considerably higher in the first two months of 2012 than they were during the first two months of 2011. This information comes as further evidence that the Manhattan housing market is taking lengthy strides away from the 2009 lows towards recovery.
In January and February of this year, 328 demolition permits were issued in New York City. This was a 36.7% increase from the number of permits issued during the same time in 2011. When a company wants to demolish an existing building, it does so with the intention of building something new in its place. So an increase in demolition means that Manhattan and other parts of New York will likely see an increase in new construction over the next several years.
There were also 12,967 permits issued in January and February of 2012 for new construction. The permits are for both altering existing buildings and building new ones. But the most promising figure was the number of permits issued for new buildings: 204 permits were issued for new construction, a 42.7% increase from the first two months of 2011. And a majority of those permits—150—are for residential buildings. This is particularly good news for the residential market, which has experienced a lack of inventory over the past year.
While these numbers are high, they are still much lower than they were in 2008. The number of residential permits issued for all of 2008 was 75% higher than the number for all of 2011. But the fact that demolition and construction are both on the rise again suggests that the market is headed in the right direction. Manhattan will likely see a rise in the number of available apartments for sale, as new buildings begin to crop up in Manhattan neighborhoods.