Real Estate

New York OKs least new housing of any city in Northeast

No wonder the rent is too damn high.

New York City approved less new housing per resident than any other Northeast city in 2020.

Just 2.4 new units were permitted per 1,000 New Yorkers in 2020, the last full year on record.

That’s fewer than Baltimore (2.8), Philadelphia (3.6), Boston (5.1) Newark (5.3), New Haven (5.6), or Washington, D.C. (10.3).

“New York City is failing to produce enough rental housing, particularly at below-market rents, to keep up with population growth — and it’s making the housing crisis even worse,” James Whalen, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said.

Will Thomas, executive director of Open New York, blamed the city’s “uniquely strict zoning.”

“Less homes means a tighter market. A tighter market means higher housing costs, whether rents or prices for homebuyers,” he said.

As construction stalls, remote workers are flocking to cheaper cities.
As construction stalls, remote workers are flocking to cheaper cities.
Helayne Seidman

While construction was temporarily suspended for the pandemic in 2020, permit approvals are tracked separately from building construction.

“It is surprising that [New York] builds less than Baltimore or Newark,” said Sidharth Kapur, an engineer who published the federal data online.

The figures are bad news for the Big Apple, as remote workers continue to flock to cheaper cities like Miami and Austin. They both approved many times the number of new units as New York in 2020 — 7.6 and 17.8, respectively.

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