Very positive story in today’s New York Times about the benefits of the housing boom.

Interesting factoid – New York City has seen its real estate transfer tax go from $875 million in 2000 to $2.2 billion this past year.

Sure, the article’s a little one-sided, but it gives you plenty to talk about at your next cocktail party.

By Jennifer Steinhauer, New York Times

It may not replace the Empire State Building or the MetroCard, but the most fitting symbol of New York City today could be the knotty plywood wall enclosing a housing construction site.

A newly completed residential and professional building on 65th Street in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, contrasts with the single-family homes on the block. Many building permits have been issued in the area since 2000.

New homes are rising at their fastest pace in New York City in more than 30 years. Housing going up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, surrounds the home of Giuseppe Sole on Fourth Street.

From Bensonhurst to Morrisania to Flushing, new homes are going up faster now than they have in more than 30 years. In 2004, the city approved the construction of 25,208 housing units, more than in any year since 1972, and that number is expected to be surpassed this year. Already, officials have authorized 15,870 permits.

Looked at another way, the city has 38 percent of the region’s population but accounts for half of its new housing starts. Much of that development is being fueled by private money, a phenomenon not seen since the 1970’s.

The mushrooming of housing development is an outgrowth of the city’s decade-long population boom, low interest rates, government programs and a slide in crime, housing experts and city officials say. It has affected every borough and most neighborhoods, reshaping their physical form, ethnic makeup and collective memories.

Housing Boom Echoes in All Corners of the City

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