Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has set an ambitious goal of adding 69,000 new units of housing between 2015 and 2030. Based on recent construction permit data, the city may already be on pace to make that happen. But as several other American cities are finding, even if bold targets can be met, there still may not be enough homes for a still-expanding workforce, a complex consequence of a strong economy.
Like much of the rest of the nation, according to an analysis of single-family and multifamily permitting activity analyzed by Apartment List, the Boston metro was adding new housing at an impressive rate before the recession. What’s unique about the city, though, is that it is now meeting or exceeding its pre-recession permitting rates. The Boston metro has approved about 15,000 new units of housing each year since 2015, up from a recession-era low of less than 6,000 in 2009.
Also like much of the country, Boston’s newly-approved housing stock is mostly multifamily properties. Issuance of multifamily building permits returned to its nationwide pre-recession rate as early as 2015, while single-family permit rates are still about 38 percent short. And even a preference for density has not been enough to keep pace… Read More