Homebuilding is Going Strong in South Florida

New home construction has increased in South Florida in the beginning of 2016. Builders have reported a great demand by families and retirees who are in need of such housing.

Palm Beach County had 560 housing starts in Q1 of this year which was up 17% from that period of 2015 and 51% compared to Q1 of 2012 when the recovery began according to the Metrostudy research firm.

Broward County showed a 3% increase in the first quarter of this year over last despite land constraints. Up to 291 from 282 in 2015 and a 16% increase over 2012.

Miami-Dade County showed its best quarter in three years with 792 starts which is a 28% increase over last year and more than triple the starts from the first quarter of 2012.

“Basically, any builder who has something open is selling well,” said David Cobb, division president of Metrostudy.

The firm’s research reported on single families and townhomes but not condominiums. The outlook is positive yet the pace of construction is a fraction of what its peak was in 2004 and 2005 when builders started 2,000 homes per quarter in each county.

Today, homebuilders are up against a challenge of finding land to build, especially in Broward County where the Everglades create a boundary. Analysts state that builders will eventually have to focus on more “infill” projects which are scattered in between already established neighborhoods. Redeveloping older golf courses, shopping centers and mobile home parks will be sources for newer construction projects.

Executive Vice President of the Builder’s Association of South Florida states that the growth this year is more steady where it is more sustainable.

“People are showing confidence in the market,” Burton said. “It isn’t wild, robust and frothy, and we don’t want to go there.”

President of Label and Co. Developments, Harry Posin, also agrees that the demand has been steady and developments in good locations are experiencing no difficulty in sales. Label started construction in Pembroke Pines on an 89 unit townhome project with homes ranging from the $360,000’s to the low $500,000’s. Models were open in March where the development is nearly 25% sold out and states the foot traffic has been excellent.

As we have recovered from the economic downturn it is great to see the positive signs for a strong South Florida real estate market.