NYC Construction Pipeline Lowest Since 2010-11: REBNY

The city and state collectively lost $1.4 billion in tax revenues in November, according to the first of a series of Real Estate Board of New York reports.
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So far this year, there have been only 1,187 new building filings in New York City, the fewest since 2010 and 2011, just after the start of the Great Recession.

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The finding is contained in the first of a new series of quarterly reports that the Real Estate Board of New York has started documenting.

Similarly, filings in the first three quarters are down 21.6 percent year-over-year, the largest such decrease since the change between 2009 and 2010.

REBNY’s inaugural Quarterly New Building Construction Pipeline Report notes the importance of real estate development and construction to the city’s economy. By itself, the real estate industry contributes “more than half of the tax revenue needed to run New York City,” according to the board.

At the outset of the pandemic, REBNY began tracking indicators that would let it monitor the city’s economy, starting with the monthly investment and residential sales report. In November, because of major decreases in New York City real estate activity, that report found that the city and state had collectively lost about $1.4 billion in tax revenues.

The picture isn’t entirely bleak. The third quarter represented a slight increase in new building filings (441) versus the first two quarters (360 and 386) and also over 12 months prior.

Year-to-date, construction applications total a proposed floor area of 7.2 million square feet and 5,456 dwelling units.

Five very different boroughs

By borough, the largest proposed projects in the third quarter were:

  • Manhattan: 155 W. 29th St. (Chelsea), a 17-story, 166,679-square-foot self storage facility;
  • The Bronx: 2000 Valentine Ave. (Tremont), an 11-story, 111,423-square-foot, mixed-use building with 181 dwelling units;
  • Brooklyn: 2700 Atlantic Ave. (Cypress Hills), a 14-story, 238,506-square-foot, mixed-use building with 227 dwelling units;
  • Queens: 90-02 168th Ave. (Jamaica), a 12-story, 492,987-square-foot, mixed-use building with 614 dwelling units;
  • Staten Island: 81 Monroe Ave. (Brighton Heights), a four-story, 29,449-square-foot, 33-unit residential building.

In October, REBNY’s Real Estate Broker Confidence Index for the third quarter fell to 3.08, out of a maximum 10, which was a 7 percent decline from the previous quarter and a 47 percent plummet year-over-year. Drilling into that summary, however, showed that the residential index was trending down, but its commercial counterpart rose.

Read the full report by REBNY.