From the Record:
In another sign of a recovery in housing, New Jersey home construction is running 45 percent ahead of last year’s rate, according to the U.S. census.
In the first five months of this year, building permits were issued for 8,912 housing units in the state, up from 6,117 in the same period in 2012.
More than half of the permits were for multifamily construction, which has grown as demand for rentals has increased.
“Multifamily is really the source of the increased momentum,” said Patrick O’Keefe, an economist with CohnReznick, an accounting firm with an office in Roseland.
And the two busiest counties are Bergen and Hudson, which are seeing a spillover of demand from the New York City market. Projects in Bergen include the redevelopment of a long-vacant 16-acre site in downtown Fort Lee; a 57-unit apartment building on the Passaic River in Elmwood Park; apartment buildings in East Rutherford and Fort Lee, built by BNE Real Estate Group of Livingston; and apartments in Hackensack and Wood-Ridge, constructed by AvalonBay of Virginia.
O’Keefe is predicting that about 23,000 homebuilding permits will be issued in New Jersey this year, up from 18,000 last year and an average of only 13,000 a year from 2009 to 2011 — the lowest annual totals since World War II. Even with the recovery, the rate of homebuilding remains below long-term averages above 30,000 units a year.