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Construction dips for first time in a decade, says DOB

Construction permits dipped for the first time in about a decade according to a recent report from the New York City Department of Buildings, signaling a potential slow down of a recent climb that brought building to historic levels.

According to the analysis, citywide there were 165,988 construction permits in 2018, down from 168,243 the year prior.

“While construction activity remains strong, the building boom may have finally hit its peak,” said New York City Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler. “As construction trends come and go, our data reports will be there to keep New Yorkers informed about changes in their built environment.”

Even with a slight dip in the number of permits, levels of construction have still continued at a heightened clip, however. Data from the report shows that in 2018, the number of demolition and new building permits still represents a 44 percent increase over 2013 — this year’s construction alone will add a whopping 46 million s/f of new floor space to the city.

The permits that were issued, according to the report, fell primarily in Manhattan which accounted for a little more than 74,000 permits last year — about 43 percent of all construction that took place in the city as a whole.

As construction shows signs of easing up, according to an annual report by the firm Turner & Townsend, in 2018 New York City once again took the title for most expensive city to build in, clocking in at an average of $362 per s/f. Union wages for construction workers were a main contributor, falling in at the second highest on the annual list under Zurich, Switzerland.

In a report forecasting the spending for 2019, the New York Building Congress estimates that 2019 will bring $50 billion of spending overall.


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