New York City construction activity has returned to the boom-time levels of 2007 and 2008, thanks in part to a surge in luxury condo development.
The New York Building Congress forecasts that $32.9 billion will be spend on construction this year alone, 17% more than what was spent in 2013. And the fervor may be set to continue, with forecasts topping $35.3 billion and $35.6 billion for 2014 and 2016, respectively.
"Thanks to an improving economy, increased foreign investment and continued progress on a handful of major public and private sector initiatives, the New York City construction market has just about fully rebounded from its post-recession depths and is nearing boom territory once again," said Building Congress President Richard Anderson.
The surge in construction spending is driven in part by a rise in residential development, which is projected to account for $10.9 billion in spending in 2014, up by $4.1 billion from 2013. By comparison, developers spent just $8.3 billion on residential construction post-recession, between 2009 and 2011.
Little of the spending will go towards homes for moderate- or low-income New Yorkers, however.
Most of the money being spent in the residential space will be put towards the construction of ultra-luxury condominiums, according to data cited by the Building Congress. Developers will spend 60 percent more on new homes, while adding only 22 percent more units in 2014, an indication that apartments will be geared towards wealthy buyers.