As a recent article in the Wall Street Journal points out, residential real estate construction has been slow to pick back up after the recession, and poses the risk of affecting the rest of the city economy. One way growth is measured is to look at the new number of permits. In New York, the number was 17,995 in 2013. Compare that to the nearly 34,000 units issued permits in 2008.
The reasons, according to analysts, include numerous factors which amount to a challenging environment in which to start new projects. Certainly, the market crash of 2008 has had a large impact as well, and it isn't clear whether the market will ever return to where it was at during the boom between 2003 and 2008. In any case, some improvement is hoped for and expected.