May 12 2021
Economic Analysis

Capital Region Sees NY’s Biggest Increase in Single-Family Building Permits

Amid the pandemic in 2020, Capital Region single-family building permits grew at their fastest rate in 12 years. Even more, the eight-county region saw New York’s biggest year-over-year increase in the number of authorized single-family building permits, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.


Driven by Albany County, Capital Region municipalities authorized a total 1,633 single-family building permits in 2020. That was a 10.8 percent annual increase and the most authorized in four years. The region’s single-family annual increase of 176 units was nearly three times bigger than any other economic development region in the state, with the Southern Tier ranking second with 67 more permits over the year. Long Island saw its total number of single-family permits decline by 173 – the most in the state.

Albany County municipalities approved 389 single-family building permits in 2020. That was 154 more than the previous year and the biggest year-over-year increase out of the state’s 62 counties. Rensselaer County had the 11th biggest increase, with 23 more single-family permits to a total of 124. Only half of the region’s eight counties – Albany, Rensselaer, Greene and Washington – saw their total number of single-family building permits increase over the year.


The number of multi-family buildings and their total units also increased in the Capital Region in 2020. In all, there were 105 multi-family buildings and 819 multi-family units. That marked a 22.1 percent increase in buildings and 4.7 percent increase in units. Among these multi-family projects, there were 21 two-unit buildings with 42 units, 20 three- to four-unit buildings with 77 units and 64 five-plus-unit buildings with 700 units.

CEG initiatives

To attract more people to the Capital Region, CEG recently launched the CapNY, with CAPable of aNYthing, campaign to market the region for new talent.  A new website, ( and its associated social media channels (@GoCapNY) will act as key modes of communication to interact with the brand and serve as primary platforms to market the region. The campaign focuses on mobile Millennial and Gen Z professionals and highlights for them the unique attributes of the eight-county, 1-million-strong Capital Region, including its vibrant urban centers, affordability, educated workforce, cultural assets, recreation, creative businesses, innovation, and proximity to major international cities.


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