NJ building permits up 30%, rentals account for 63%

From the Record:

NJ builders on track to start largest number of homes since 2006

Despite last winter’s weather delays, New Jersey builders are on track to start the largest number of homes since 2006, led by a boom in rental construction.

Through July, home builders have obtained more than 17,200 building permits this year, up 30 percent over the same period last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Multifamily construction has continued to lead the way, accounting for 63 percent of the activity this year.

Builders are focusing on rentals because many households have been unable to buy homes in a time of tight mortgage lending standards and flat incomes. In addition, many younger residents are wary of owning a home because the housing bust showed them that property values could drop.

North Jersey has dominated the state’s home construction market, with about 30 percent of building permits this year in Bergen and Hudson counties.

“The northeastern part of the state has been getting spillover demand from the New York City market,” said Patrick O’Keefe, an economist with CohnReznick, an accounting firm with offices in Roseland.

O’Keefe is expecting a total of about 28,500 housing units to be approved this year, which would be about 17.5 percent ahead of last year’s total and the highest number since before the recession.

Multifamily projects have recently been completed or are under construction in Fort Lee, Edgewater, Elmwood Park, Fair Lawn, Wood-Ridge and Bloomingdale, among other North Jersey towns.

Single-family permits have also risen this year, but at a much slower pace than multifamily. O’Keefe said that single-family builders are being careful not to produce houses more quickly than sellers can buy them.

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52 Responses to NJ building permits up 30%, rentals account for 63%

  1. grim says:

    What, all you slackers already on vacation?

  2. Just getting a headstart on preparing for the endtimes.

  3. joyce says:


    Regarding the headline article: I agree with you that comparing activity levels from now to bubble periods for the purposes of saying how bad things appear is misleading cause one’s reference point is the bubble! So, when you see activity levels (such as building permits) tracking ’06 levels, any potential negative take-aways from those findings in your opinion?

  4. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    FICO changes could mean more credit access, MGIC says

    FICO scores will ignore debts that have been paid off or settled, and a lesser weight will be assigned to medical bill collections, which account for about half of all unpaid collections on consumers’ credit reports, according to a note from MGIC (MTG).

    Details are still being determined and whether lenders accept the changes is not clear yet, but this new scoring model could translate to higher credit scores and better rates for borrowers.

    This, in turn, might end up saving them thousands of dollars and making homeownership an even more affordable investment for those right on the edge of good credit.

    And in other good news, MGIC reports in their note, there are many options for first-time homebuyers to raise enough money for a down payment.

  5. grim says:

    3 – While some of it is just pure bounce-back from under-building during the recession, I’m more likely to believe this is overcorrection by builders. Many of these rentals are being built in less than prime areas. Great news for renters, but I wouldn’t want to be an investor.

    In the NJ case specifically, take it with a grain of salt, construction jobs are nowhere near 2006 levels.

  6. 1987 Condo says:

    …works like “magic”!

  7. joyce says:

    Makes sense. I wonder if we’ll see any type of over correction in Ocean County (I should say the shore) with the Sandy rebuilding. I know destroyed houses need to and will be rebuilt… but I mean perhaps investors/builders will build too many large(r) homes where nothing but 2 bedroom bungalows were before without the follow-through of higher income people stepping up to the plate to buy. I guess they could always just keep them to rent.

    I believe it’s been discussed here before that there is a decent percentage of middle class shore house owners, it’s just that the homes have been passed down since they were bought for 18k in 1955.

  8. 1987 Condo says:

    QE in America…growth happening…Austerity in Europe..deflation….next stop, QE in Europe….plus..Rutgers won?!

  9. grim says:

    From the Jersey Journal:

    6,000 A.C. casino workers losing their jobs

    One of the region’s largest mass-filings for unemployment and other benefits will begin next week for newly laid-off Atlantic City casino workers in an outreach effort so large it had to book part of the city’s convention center.

    The Showboat and Revel are shutting down over the next few days, putting more than 5,000 workers out of work. Trump Plaza will add 1,100 more when it closes Sept. 16.

    More than 100 work stations will be set up to help process workers’ claims with the state Department of Labor and other agencies and social service organizations.
    The main casino workers’ union, Local 54 of Unite-HERE, is starting a resource center next week to help ex-casino workers file for unemployment, register for health insurance, and get information on food stamps and other assistance.

    The Press of Atlantic City reported yesterday that Atlantic County led the nation in job losses in July, with 3,600 fewer jobs than a year ago, last among 372 metropolitan areas.

  10. grim says:

    Sorry, but to me Charlie Birnbaum sounds more like an obstructionist than someone fawning over yesteryears and memories. He doesn’t even live in AC. His mother was killed in that house during a robbery. You say you want to see a turnaround, yet when you are asked directly to be a part of it, you refuse? Top dollar, eh Charlie? If staying in AC is so important, sell the house, take the $240,000, and buy another house.

    From the Philly Inquirer:

    Revel closing, but property fight goes on

    The three-story brick house on a mostly deserted street in the shadow of the failed $2.4 billion Revel Hotel Casino was Charlie Birnbaum’s father’s livelihood. It allowed him to reside a couple of blocks from his beloved beach and earn income by renting out two floors to tenants.

    “This building gave him dignity. It was his refuge,” Birnbaum, 67, said this week. “As it was for my mom when my dad passed away. Because of this building, my dad didn’t die in a nursing home.”

    Not even the killing of his mother there during a 1998 robbery diminished Birnbaum’s beautiful memories of what the house meant for his family.

    It’s those memories that keep him from accepting a buyout from the state agency in charge of redeveloping Atlantic City as the resort city’s casino industry shrinks. Even with the hulking glass structure down the street preparing to sit empty when Revel closes this weekend, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority says it still wants to redevelop the nearby land where Birnbaum’s house sits.

  11. grim says:

    Most everyone else has taken the deal and moved on, it’s a fucking ghost town.


    Seems to me that Atlantic City is Atlantic City’s biggest problem.

  12. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    The state of the economy, the country, and the fact that anon’s ilk may take over got me so depressed that I called the suicide hotline.

    I got connected to a call center in Pakistan. When I mentioned that I felt suicidal, they got excited and asked me if I knew how to drive a truck.

  13. Fast Eddie says:

    Builders are focusing on rentals because many households have been unable to buy homes in a time of tight mortgage lending standards and flat incomes. In addition, many younger residents are wary of owning a home because the housing bust showed them that property values could drop.

    LMAO!!! Please, stop the madness! Flat incomes? Everyone is bleeding wealth around here! Haven’t you heard? You’re expected to pay 630K for a tired split because we say so! Have you hugged a unicorn today?

  14. anon (the good one) says:

    “One of the best ways to prevent unnecessary foreclosures is to provide struggling families with a legal aid lawyer. While the state guarantees legal representation for any criminal proceeding, there is no such guarantee in civil cases. Therefore, access to fair representation depends largely on the availability of free legal aid lawyers who have a long track record of helping people with no other options — such as battered spouses, people with disabilities, parents seeking child support, homeless veterans and others without means.

    Legal aid lawyers have the necessary training to help homeowners navigate the byzantine mortgage servicing system. They can identify mortgages that were illegal or predatory, and also help families make their mortgage payments by securing resources like unpaid wages, child support, public benefits, or unemployment insurance. Legal aid programs have saved many thousands of homes since the start of the financial crisis, but recently have struggled to secure funding for their vital work. The Bank of America settlement will hopefully be helpful in this regard but we need to do much more.”

    One way to prevent unnecessary foreclosures? Provide struggling families with a legal aid lawyer

  15. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    [14] redux

    And this.


    There was a house in Boston that is literally surrounded by off and on ramps. It is, or was, near North Station. Owner refused to sell so they built the highway around the house. Don’t know if it’s still there, my guess is that it went with the Big Dig.

  16. grim says:

    16 – Foreclosure isn’t the problem, it’s the solution.

  17. Ragnar says:

    Lawyers can help people understand that their problems are always someone else’s fault, and find someone else to pay for their problems.

  18. joyce says:

    Police Officer Will Not Be Charged For Killing Napster Exec While Texting-While-Driving — Because It’s Apparently Okay For Police To Do That


  19. anon (the good one) says:

    agree. it certainly works very well for the rich, so the poor should give it a try

    Ragnar says:
    August 29, 2014 at 9:53 am
    Lawyers can help people understand that their problems are always someone else’s fault, and find someone else to pay for their problems.

  20. anon (the good one) says:

    Dr. Martin Luther King delivered the speech of my lifetime 51 yrs ago today.We must recommit to achieving his vision.

  21. grim says:

    @tim_cook way to sell the iPhone 6 #richwhiteguywhatlivesinabubble #400millionnetworth

  22. jj says:

    Martin King used to cheat on his wife like crazy and had all those hot groupies in the free love 60s followingh him pre-aids, pre-herpes when most women used birth control.

    He had a dream man on man and was living the dream.

    anon (the good one) says:

    August 29, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Dr. Martin Luther King delivered the speech of my lifetime 51 yrs ago today.We must recommit to achieving his vision.

  23. yome says:

    Company greed- any different in America? or Just be satisfied you have a job that can not support a family

    “The idea was that an increase in sales would boost corporate profits and lead to higher pay for workers, who would then increase spending.
    Yet even with significant prodding from the government and record profits, Japanese businesses are not paying higher wages.”

  24. homeboken says:

    Clarence: You know, Sweets, I met Dr. Martin Luther King once.
    Sweets: You lyin’. You ain’t never met Dr. Martin Luther King.
    Clarence: Yeah, I met Dr. Martin Luther King in 1962 in Memphis, Tennessee. I walkin’ down the street minding my own business, just walking on. Feelin’ good. I walk around the corner, a man walk up, hit me in my chest, right. I fall on the ground, right. And I look up and it’s Dr. Martin Luther King. I said ‘Dr. King?’ and he said ‘Ooops, I thought you were some body else.’

  25. Libturd in the City says:

    I gotta order this.


  26. Juice Box says:

    Just an FYI on EU & NATO.

    Most EU members spend less than 2% of their GDP on defense. Guess who is expected to make up for it? Those 10,000 troops Poland wants? They want Americans.


  27. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I have a 401K plan that I max out every year, including the 50+ catchup, so $23K this year in before employer match. I also have a Roth option within the same 401K, which I’ve never had before. I put $100 in just to start the 5 year clock. There’s a good chance I will retire a year or so before my oldest daughter applies to college (she’ll start college in 2020) and stay retired for 6 years until both daughters finish their undergrad. Should I be doing something with this Roth thing?

  28. Juice Box says:

    re: # 24 – So did JFK but the Irish gave him a pass too.

  29. painhrtz - whatever says:

    And Martin Luther King liked guns, would be considered a religious conservative today and would be appalled by the state of poor African Americans thanks to the policies of LBJ’s great society. Feel free to keep playing Anon.

  30. Not exPAT says:

    Re #30:

    Think of the ROTH 401k with these priorities, and realize you’ll feel it big in your check:

    1)a way to build up your estate and/or reduce life insurance needed amount.
    2) the amount of money you put into based on how far/near you are to the next highest income tax bracket. Example – As single around 85,000 you jump from 25% to 28%, so you stay in the traditional 401k to as much as possible to keep it at 25%. But if you are already far from the next highest bracket – keep it Roth.
    3) what is your tax rate likely to be when you need the money at retirement? So a safe bet is what you think you are going to need till 80 or so in the traditional so you pay the lower tax rate at the geezer retirement age. Anything you need you after 80 in Roth as it is likely it will be passed on as an estate, and the roth is great for it.

  31. jj says:

    Yea but he got nowhere near the tail MLK got who by the way MLK stands for My Long Kock

    Juice Box says:

    August 29, 2014 at 11:00 am

    re: # 24 – So did JFK but the Irish gave him a pass too.

  32. Libturd in the City says:

    As I understand it, the Roth option works the same in a 401k as it does in your IRA accounts. Typically, the younger you are when you start contributing to it, the better the tax advantage of a Roth will be (barring and unforeseen changes to the program). Traditional 401K contributions are pretax, which means when you take distributions, you will have to pay taxes on the entirety. Roth distributions are tax free. Plus there are no high income limitations.

    Ultimately, what it boils down to is properly guessing whether you will be in a higher tax bracket when your are in retirement than you are currently. You must be a bit older since you admitted to the catchup payments, so the tax advantage of not being taxed on your gains in the ROTH might not be worth it since they won’t have as much time to grow.

    If it were me, I would break out a calculator and plug in the various potential scenarios.

  33. Libturd in the City says:

    What expat said is true to. You have to calculate how much the pretax of a non-Roth 401k helps your current tax situation too.

  34. yome says:

    re: Roth vs 401k
    IMHO it depends how much you will need and be withrawing at retirement. If at retirement you only need both SS (you and your spouse) plus $1,000 a month on 401k. I will stay with a 401k because you will not be taxed on your SS and $12,000 a year 401k. Tax free 401k. If you start withdrawing money from a roth that is after tax you are not really saving money. I calculated if I start withdrawing $2,000 a month on 401k plus me and my wifes SS, I will be paying $700 a year in Federal taxes at todays brackets.

  35. Libturd in the City says:

    Happy labor day everybody!

  36. jj says:

    We were told at work Roths are Fantastic for younger lower income workers who are buying stocks at low prices.

    If you graduated college Spring 2008 and did the Roth 401k from Spring 2008 to Spring 2014 you are a rock star.

    The higher income you are and higher priced stocks are makes less sense.

  37. painhrtz - whatever says:

    It is a potty training weekend Lib nothing happy about it

  38. Toxic Crayons says:


    Ξ BLACK REPUBLICAN Ξ ‏@blackrepublican 8m
    It isn’t a coincidence that many of the men from America/Canada joining #ISIS are young angry and black [converts] to Islam. #BlackTwitter

    Ξ BLACK REPUBLICAN Ξ ‏@blackrepublican 25m
    #ISIS knows young black men (new converts) to Islam are the perfect recruits. They have torn identities with America: cops/racism etc.

  39. Juice Box says:

    re # potty training weekend.

    I tried this one Summer with my older son and in-laws who promised they could train him in a few days. I had rented a big house in Spring Lake for the summer and I had Grandma and Grandpa come and spend the week with us at the shore. Grandma promised she would have my son potty trained by the end of the week. Week begins and I promptly left every morning and drove up to my office for work and came back at night all week. Well by the third day of potty training my son managed to potty everywhere but the potty. By the fifth day Grandma had given up and he was back in pull ups again. It took us another few months to finally get him to settle down and do his business where it needs to be done.

    Don’t rush the kid…and drink plenty you will need it, and don’t be afraid to put the pull up back on.

  40. Libturd in the City says:


    If the attempted training does not work quickly, then it is simply not time. Don’t be disappointed. When it’s time, it will take.

    We, fortunately have daycare who do the hard work.

  41. painhrtz - whatever says:

    thanks for the advice but remember it is tow of them and we have been prepping them for months. Both of them started pulling their pants down to go about a week ago. so long weekend, 12 pack, and a fifth of scotch I have my fingers crossed.

    We also have potties set up everywhere. It honestly was easier to train the dog.

  42. anon (the good one) says:

    yes, hard work for less than minimum wage.

    Indeed, happy Labor Day

    Libturd in the City says:
    August 29, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    We, fortunately have daycare who do the hard work.

  43. A handle of Scotch sounds pretty tasty right about now.

  44. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    Clot I’m already past the neck and reaching the label two poop accidents in

  45. Grim says:


  46. It’s just poop. Have you had a piss-on-the-wall incident yet?

  47. Happy Labor Day, fellow dupes!

    “Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy): a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confisc@ted wealth of a diminishing number of producers.”


  48. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. Captain Justice says:

    I go away for a day, log on in Boston, and this place is all about MLK and poop.

  49. NJT says:

    #5 & # 7

    I know two construction type guys (they can do it all) from the hunting and fishing cabin I stay at a few times a year up in Sussex county. They’re both from South Jersey. Post Sandy reconstruction is the only gig giving them a paycheck in their field since the storm. Lots of guys sleeping in their trucks or renting out a motel room and packing 6 co=workers in it with cots and sleeping bags. Weeks away from home at a time and working 12 hour days until a job is done, with no breaks.

    Construction trades have been dead since 2007.

    Even licensed master plumbers are having a hard time finding work and lowballing jobs against each other.

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