May 12 2022
General,Regional/County Profiles

Capital Region Single-Family Building Permits Climb to 14-Year High

Permit Authorizations Grow Fastest in Greene and Columbia Counties

New homes being built around Lupe Way in Colonie


The number of single-family building permits authorized in the Capital Region climbed to a 14-year high in 2021. Already seeing some of New York’s strongest growth in domestic movers, Columbia and Greene counties last year also experienced some of the state’s fastest growth in single-family permitting activity. But the region’s increase in these permits came with a jump in projected residential structure values, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of new U.S. Census Bureau data.1



In 2021, municipalities in the eight-county region authorized 1,794 single-family housing units. That marked a 9.9 percent increase from the previous year and the most authorized permits since 2007.  The total estimated value of those authorized residential structures was $531.4 million. That means the average estimated new single-family residential structure value was $296,203. This valuation increased over the year by 10.4 percent – the fastest annual growth rate in eight years.


Columbia County ended 2021 with 101 authorized single-family building permits in 2021. That was the county’s most single-family authorizations in 13 years. Neighboring Greene County had 107 101 authorized of single-family building permits – its most annual authorizations in 12 years. On a year-over-year basis, Greene County’s single-family authorizations were up by 57.4 percent and Columbia County’s were up by 42.3 percent – the state’s fourth and twelfth fastest annual growth rates, respectively.


Both counties saw influxes of movers from within the country in 2021. Columbia County ranked eighth in New York for net domestic movers and Greene County ranked eighth, according to CEG’s analysis of Census Bureau population estimates.



In addition to the single-family units, Capital Region municipalities authorized 1,440 multi-family units – a five-year high. Among those multi-family units, 36 were for in two-unit buildings, 92 were in thee- to four-unit building, and 1,262 were in five-or-more unit buildings.

A new home under construction on Donna Drive in Colonie



CEG is working to attract to the region more talent and create even more demand for the region’s new and existing housing stock. CEG launched a talent attraction campaign in April 2021 using the CapNY brand. The talent campaign works collaboratively across target industry sectors and organizations to attract and retain talented, diverse people who want to live in New York’s Capital Region because of its lifestyle and opportunity. The CapNY website – – and its associated social media channels are key elements of CEG’s talent campaign, which markets New York’s eight-county, million-resident Capital Region as a destination of choice, specifically highlighting its quality of place. To achieve these objectives, CEG is also targeting out of market social media placements, piloting outreach to universities and colleges to engage students and local companies to engage interns, as well as connecting regional companies and HR professionals to tools for recruitment.



According to the Census Bureau, “These [building permit] numbers provide a general indication of the amount of new housing stock that may have been added to the housing inventory. Since not all permits become actual housing starts and starts lag the permit stage of construction, these numbers do not represent total new construction, but should provide a general indicator on construction activity and the local real estate market.”


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