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Boston housing permits reach record level, though impact unclear

5,349 issued in 2017


Nearly 20 percent of the 5,349 permits for new houses, apartments, and condos that Boston issued in 2017 had restrictions attached limiting the prices or the rents that developers could charge.

That is according to the administration of Mayor Marty Walsh, who has prioritized housing construction to alleviate Boston’s cartoonishly high real estate costs.

The permit total for 2017 was the highest on record since the 1990s, according to the administration, and nearly 17 percent more than the last high set in 2015.

A lot of that is simply the Boston housing market running wild in a climate of cheap financing and strong demand. If things start teetering a bit in 2018, the pace of construction could slow.

Meanwhile, it’s unclear if even 5,349 permits is enough—probably not—to bring down prices in the near-term. Stay tuned.