Press Release

Report: NYC Construction Pipeline Sees a Surge in Small Buildings, But Filings for Large Multifamily Projects Remain at Historic Lows


February 8, 2024

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Filings for proposed dwelling units remain well below historical average

NEW YORK, NY –The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) today released its New Building Construction Pipeline Report for Q4 2023. This report examines new building job application filings submitted to the New York City Department of Buildings.

As New York City faces a worsening shortage of rental housing, this report sheds light on a remarkable divide within the city’s construction pipeline over the last quarter.

There were 728 new building filings in Q4 2023, which was 48% higher than the historical average dating back to 2008.

However, that increase was driven by a massive spike in activity for small buildings. There were 568 filings for buildings with 1 to 3 proposed units – primarily on Staten Island – the most in any quarter dating back to 2008.

Meanwhile, plans for large multifamily buildings remained at historic lows. There were just 9 filings for buildings with 100 or more proposed units. This marked the fourth straight quarter in which there were 10 or fewer such filings.

Due to this stark divide, the large number of total filings in Q4 2023 did not translate to an increase in the city’s housing pipeline. In fact, the opposite was true.

There were 4,046 proposed dwelling units in Q4 2023, which was 16% lower than the historical average dating back to 2008.

The full report can be accessed here.

“This data makes clear that New York City is not building the kind of multifamily rental housing needed to address our worsening supply crisis,” said Zachary Steinberg, REBNY Senior Vice President of Policy. “Without policies in place to spur greater rental housing construction, one cannot expect this problem to fix itself. Elected officials in Albany must take action to create new housing that will support our housing market and broader economy.”

“While spikes in new building filings are certainly encouraging, this report makes it abundantly clear that we are still well behind pre-COVID levels of construction as we continue to lag in our ability to meaningfully address the housing crisis and improve the lives of all New Yorkers, particularly those in underserved communities,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “We need to generate more rental housing projects that will create family sustaining union careers and provide more hardworking New Yorkers a path to the middle class. We remain committed to collaborating with our elected officials and stakeholders to identify and execute solutions that will ease these struggles, uplift our communities, and boost our economy.”

“The findings affirm what we’ve known for a long time — there’s an ongoing shortfall in the construction of multifamily rental housing, and the need for our leaders to work with the industry on a solution grows more and more urgent," said Carlo A. Scissura, Esq., President & CEO of the N.Y. Building Congress. “We cannot waste the opportunity in front of us to address the escalating housing crisis in New York. That means we have to come together behind a comprehensive agenda that spurs construction that can increase our housing supply and help address the need for affordable housing.”

For more information about REBNY research reports, please visit //// 

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The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is the City’s leading real estate trade association. Founded in 1896, REBNY represents commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers, investors, brokers, and salespeople; banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects, and contractors; corporations, co-partnerships, and individuals professionally interested in New York City real estate. REBNY conducts research on various civic matters including tax policy, city planning and zoning, rental conditions, land use policy, building codes, and other city, state, and federal legislation. REBNY regularly publishes market data, policy reports, and broker surveys. In addition, REBNY provides for its members: informational, technical, and technological resources; networking and charitable service opportunities; qualifying and continuing education courses; professional education programs, seminars, and designations; career-changing awards; legal advice; and a wide range of additional member benefits. For more information, please visit


Chris Santarelli

(212) 616-5249

Topics Covered

  • Residential
  • Housing