New Jersey residential builders still struggle to regain the level of activity that they enjoyed before the great recession.

Residential builders in New Jersey took out a little more than 19,000 permits last year, roughly half the number of permits in the year 2005.

“Whenever you come out of a recessionary period it is going to be somewhat choppy,” Dwight Pittenger, president of the New Jersey Builders Association said. Pittenger also maintains that housing activity, while half of what it was in 2005, is still stronger than it was when the last downturn — the savings and loan crisis in the ’90s — hit.
“If you compare today’s construction activity with that of 2005, that was the pinnacle of that whole cycle that ran approximately 12 years or so,” he said. Pittenger said areas of northeastern New Jersey — in particular Hudson County — have very strong residential demand. But other parts of the state are lagging behind.

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