New York City issued 17,804 residential building permits in June and 42,088 for apartments and houses during the first six months of the year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
That’s more than any full year since 1963, when builders pulled 50,000 permits, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.
The reason for the surge in permits: A tax abatement program that was set to expire required builders to break ground on their single- or multifamily projects by June 15 to qualify. They have until 2019 to finish construction.
Richard T. Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress, called the building boom “astounding... We are heading into the stratosphere,” The Journal reported. He predicted the surge would boost spending on construction in the city this year even more than the 26% it increased in 2014.
Still, not every tax abatement deadline produces a rush of this magnitude.
But a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio said the flurry of permits is good news for the city, which lacks enough affordable housing.
That is, if all of the projects that began in June are completed. Several developers told The Journal they recall a similar surge in 2008 when a tax abatement was ending. A wave of builders took out permits and started construction — and then pulled when they were hit by the financial crisis.