A Look at New York Apartment Construction in 2019

How New York was affected by development fluctuations.
New York City street. Image courtesy of Jo Wiggijo

The last decade has seen some fluctuation regarding apartment construction. While the high number of apartment deliveries in 2017 looked promising, 2018 and 2019 both saw decreases in the number of apartments hitting the market. In fact, according to data from Yardi Matrix, 2019 saw an 8.2 percent drop in the total number of deliveries compared to 2018.

Nonetheless, the last decade has seen a total of 2.3 million units delivered. While falling short compared to the 1970s, when 3 million new apartments were built, and the 1980s with 2.6 million apartments, this decade has been on the upswing for apartment construction overall. Moreover, additional apartment construction projects are also underway, with an expected completion date in the upcoming year.

Reflecting the rise in apartment construction is the annual rent increase, which has slowed after it picked up speed in 2018. The slowdown compared to the previous year, from a 3.7 percent increase in 2018 to 2.7 percent rent increase in 2019, is partially driven by the number of new apartments that came on the market in recent years.

New York has also seen the effect of apartment construction. In the last decade, approximately 23,000 units were built in Brooklyn and about 32,000 in Manhattan. In Buffalo, around 1,300 units were added in the last decade, followed by Yonkers with 1,800, Syracuse with 2,200 and Rochester with 3,000.

Some neighborhoods, however, were even more influenced by the apartment construction. For example, Bushwick, home to more than 85,000 residents, is expected to expand its inventory by 1,103 new units, as Brooklyn apartments for rent are highly sought after. In Jamaica and Astoria, 553 and 508 units, respectively, are expected to hit the market this year. These numbers are projections and are subject to change as 2019 completions are finalized.

Other New York neighborhoods are also expected to see the results of apartment construction next year. Specifically, Long Island City is waiting on the completion of more than 3,000 units, and Lincoln Square, Murray Hill and Williamsburg are each expecting 800-900 units.