Since the 2008 recession, residential construction in New York City has failed to recover to pre-crash levels.  In 2013, 17,995 housing units were issued compared to 34,000 units in 2008. While New York continues to struggle, other cities across the country are seeing signs of progress.  San Francisco, “one of the hottest markets in the country in the past few years, issued permits for about 4,500 units in 2013, nearly double those authorized in 2005.”  New York’s lag is attributed to a variety of reasons from the Bloomberg administration’s re-zoning of about a third of the city (much of it to restrict development) to high land and construction costs.  One of the most interesting lag factors is the city’s encumbered building approval process.  Richard Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress,

“Describes the city’s buildings-approval process as so complicated it has given rise to an entire industry of expediters who are paid by developers to speed up the approvals for their projects”.

Read the full article…