Buffalo Next: Buffalo is far behind in building new homes |

Any homebuyer in the housing market today can attest to the shortage of homes for sale and the need for more inventory, including for newly built homes.

The problem is that manufacturers are not implementing them quickly enough to meet demand. And a new study seems to confirm it.

Homebuilders in the Buffalo Niagara metropolitan area are building homes at the second slowest growth rate of any major city in the country. It is according to a Inspection Assistance Network report who examined which US cities are building the most homes, based on data from the United States Census Bureau and Zillow.

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new house construction

A new home under construction in the new Aurora Mills patio home development off Mill Road in East Aurora, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

Derek Gee/Buffalo News

The research firm found that for every 1,000 existing homes in the Buffalo area last year, there were 2.9 new housing units authorized for construction, compared to 12.5 nationally. That’s less than a quarter of the pace of local activity, compared to the country as a whole.

Worse still, it was down 8.3% from 3.2 new units per 1,000 existing in 2019, while the national average was up 25.3% from 10.2. This means the gap has widened over the past three years – even though interest rates were at record highs until just a few months ago and demand is at an all-time high. A total of 1,553 new dwellings were approved locally in 2021, compared to 1,693 in 2019.

Nationally, cities in fast-growing states in the Mountain West and Sun Belt regions—such as Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Texas, and Florida—were among the top metropolitan areas for construction of new houses. The fastest growing cities reported around 60 or more new units per 1,000 people.

Certainly, a shortage of workers and ongoing supply chain disruptions are major factors in delaying construction, as builders cannot get all the materials, windows, doors or even appliances they need, which delays the completion of homes for months at a time. time. The lack of land available and ready for construction is another problem, especially at the local level, and municipal regulations add yet another wrench, according to builders.

According Freddie Mac According to data cited in the report, the United States has an estimated housing shortage of 3.8 million units, but the cause is not recent. On the contrary, there has been a decades-long decline in the construction of single-family homes since the 1980s, especially for starter homes, because costs have risen so much that it is almost prohibitively expensive to build the low-end homes. which are now in most demand, especially for millennials.

And it only got worse after the 2008 recession, when annual housing permits fell to historic lows when the housing market crashed, and only gradually recovered.

Want to know more? Three stories to catch up with you:

Where Homebuilding Is Hot and Where It Isn’t

Local homebuilders are busy – but they could be busier – as shortages hold them back

Soaring prices and supply delays wreak havoc on new homes and renovations

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Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park

So: Starting with the Imagine LaSalle initiative, city officials have been working for nearly four years on a planned transformation of LaSalle Park on Buffalo’s west side into the new Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Parkusing a $50 million gift from a foundation by the former owner of the Buffalo Bills to create an iconic park.

Plans include improved waterfront access and shoreline support, a new pedestrian bridge connecting to the adjacent neighborhood, a new playground, bike and walking paths, improved sports fields, a sports loop, a lagoon, a dog run and new landscaping. The effort is led by the Buffalo Urban Development Corp., work with the University of Buffalo Regional Institutedesigner Michael Van Valkenburgh Partnersdesign office Wendel Enterprises and project manager Gardiner and Theobald.

Now: Despite delays, notably due to Covid-19, the works have moved from the design and engineering phases to the pre-construction phases. BUDC also received additional funding from the Great Lakes Commission to support engineering work for shoreline restoration, including $1 million in June 2020, another $238,000 in July 2021, and this week added a third grant of $874,783 for the first phase of construction of the waterfront elements. At the park.

Full construction documents are expected to be finalized by August, and officials have selected Gilbane Building Co. as project manager. A first sod is scheduled for July 19.


What: BUDC also received a $75,000 prize from Empire State Development Corp. to support a plan to create waterfront streetscape spaces to better connect Canalside to the new Centennial Park. The aim is to provide more walking opportunities and multi-modal transport links to bridge the distance.

Tell me more: In addition, BUDC is also working to improve the streetscape and create places on Court and Ellicott streets, in collaboration with the Project for public spacesthe Ministry of Public Works and GoBikeBuffalo. This latest effort, on Ellicott, includes lighting for the Central Library underpass in downtown Buffalo and pedestrian-friendly elements at the Ellicott intersections of William Street and Broadway.

Why is this important: The site creation project is part of the city’s strategy Race for the place initiative, designed to make downtown Buffalo and surrounding neighborhoods more attractive, engaging and welcoming to young workers and residents as Buffalo seeks to grow its urban population of residents and employers.


Keep up to date with the latest news from Buffalo Next:

Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino has a vision to create a $150 million “gateway” park downtownwith an ice rink, indoor arena, and outdoor amphitheater, but the 12 acres of land he envisions for the Centennial Park project is owned by Howard Milstein’s Niagara Falls Redevelopment, and his company isn’t interested in selling it.

Chinnici’s Legacy Development proposes to build a pair of new large apartment buildings on a 6.1 acre site on McKesson Parkway off Union Road in Cheektowaga.

Kaleida Health and two major unions have agreed to a second extension of their existing contractwhich was due to expire on May 31 before the two sides extended it until June 30 as they try to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement.

The push to redevelop LaSalle metro station and surrounding land is attracting more interest than any previous real estate offering from the city, as 10 developers or groups submitted responses to the city’s “request for qualification” in early May.

A request from the developers of Elmwood Crossing to amend the original planned unit development by-law that governs the zoning of the $150 million project is the subject of increased scrutiny and concern from neighborhood residents

A new Dollar General store is coming to the Larkinville area on vacant land at E. Eagle Street, after the Buffalo Planning Board gave the go-ahead on Monday to developer Broadway Group’s plans for a new discount store.

Young Development has two apartment projects underway in Cheektowaga this will add 430 units as part of the construction of the $15 million Downtown Apartments and $75 million Downtown Apartments.

The development company owned by Carl and William Paladino hopes create 300 to 400 affordable housing units in the city over the next two years – a significant increase from the limited holdings it currently holds in this area, said William Paladino, CEO of the company.

William Harvey Jr. brings a firm hand to Northwest Bank as interim chief, following the unexpected death of the company’s CEO in late May. The Pennsylvania-based company has 22 local branches.

The The Erie County Legislature voted 8-3 to approve SUNY Erie Community College’s proposed $98.6 million budget for 2022-2023but even the lawmakers who voted for it have pledged to play a watchdog role in spending the money and implementing necessary cost-cutting measures.


Four readings from Buffalo Next:

1. How Community Developers Can Build Neighborhoods: With support from SAA-EVI and investments from two national nonprofits, passionate residents seek to transform neighborhoods from the bottom up – starting small but dreaming big.

2. Jeff Gingerich will become the first non-Catholic to lead Saint-Bonaventure University: Growing up as a Mennonite on a farm in Iowa—living simply and serving the marginalized—set the stage for his career in education and his role as the 22nd president of the nation’s oldest Franciscan college.

3. Companies large and small are taking a closer look at how much office space they need: Many employees prefer to work remotely and do so productively, which can leave employers paying for many empty rented spaces.

4. New Western New York Tech Boot Camp: ‘A shining example of the power of diversity’: Buffalo Tech Academy’s Data Analytics Bootcamp, the first of its kind in Western New York, has its first graduates. The initiative aims to build a tech workforce that represents the region’s diversity and meets the needs of local businesses.

The Buffalo Next team gives you insight into the region’s economic revitalization. Buy a building? Refurbish a property? Do you have any advice? Contact real estate and development reporter Jonathan D. Epstein at 716-849-4478 or email him at [email protected]

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