New York City Sees Dramatic Drop in Building Permits Issued

When the 421-a tax abatement policy expired on June 15, the number of building permits issued for the following month plummeted. According to statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of permits issued in July fell by 90 percent from June. The biggest losses were felt in Brooklyn and Queens, which saw a fall-off of 97 percent and 98 percent, respectively.

Even with the drop, the total number of building permits issued—43,783—for the first seven months of this year is substantial. It is the most since 2008, when approximately 33,000 were issued for the entire year. Because the 421-a law has now been extended through the end of the year, the number of permits could potentially reach June levels once again if the law appears likely to expire again.