2012 outpaces previous year by 47 percent


HARTFORD — New housing construction in Connecticut finally emerged from its recessionary trough in 2012.

According to new figures from the research arm of the state’s Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD), 4,669 new housing units were authorized last year, up 47 percent from the 3,173  new units approved in 2011 — the lowest annual figure since the turn of the century.

For the same period, 955 units were authorized for demolition, resulting in a net gain of 3,714 housing units statewide.

Those numbers are still far below the pre-recessionary peak of housing construction, which topped out at 11,885 units in 2005, before the housing bubble burst in Connecticut and nationwide.

Fairfield County led last year’s housing-construction turnaround. There 2,138 new units were authorized in 2012, far outpacing runner-up Hartford County, with 838 new units. In New Haven County 669 new housing units were approved last year.

Statewide, the municipality posting the most new housing starts last year was Stamford, where 564 new units were authorized. Locally, Shelton saw the approval of 299 new housing units, while 145 new units were approved for construction in Milford.

Among area cities, Bridgeport approved a surprising 175 new housing units last year. Ninety-seven new units were authorized in New Haven, while Waterbury authorized 62 new housing units.

In only two of the state’s 169 cities and towns were no housing units approved for construction last year: the Hartford County hamlet of Hartland (population 2,073), and the tiny (population 1,271) Litchfield County town of Canaan.