New Home Construction Surges In Miami-Dade, Slumps In Broward And Palm Beach

home-builder confidenceThe construction and sale of new homes is spiking in Miami-Dade County but it has slowed down in Broward and Palm Beach counties, according to third quarter data from Metrostudy.

The firm monitors single-family home starts and new unit sales across the county. In the South Florida/Treasure Coast region, there were 7,103 home starts and 6,490 new home sales in the third quarter, up 3.6 percent and 15 percent, respectively, from the same period a year ago.

Miami-Dade was the growth leader, with starts up 38 percent and closings up 36 percent. Lennar’s Aragon and Aventura Isles were the two busiest projects in the entire region.

The supply of finished, vacant inventory in Miami-Dade is a healthy 2.4 months.

David Cobb, Metrostudy’s regional director for South Florida, said Miami-Dade has about 23,000 single-family home lots that could be ripe for future development, although most of that is outside the Urban Development Boundary.

“Once the properties inside the urban boundary get substantially built out, there will have to be a change in the boundary line, I believe,” Cobb said.

In Broward, single-family home starts declined 8.9 percent and net unit sales plummeted 23 percent, year over year. The lack of developable land in Broward has caused a slow down in development, and the county might be a few years from being out of large development tracts, Cobb said. The next trend will be redeveloping golf courses, industrial sites and other similar properties into more lucrative residential uses, he said.

Palm Beach saw single-family home starts drop 8.9 percent and new unit sales fall 2.5 percent. Cobb said the county has about 35,000 available lots, and that could increase if more agricultural land is opened for development.

“There’s also a shortage of skilled labor so builders are somewhat capped in the number of homes they can build on a monthly basis, no matter how many they can sell,” Cobb said. “Home prices increased and that’s priced some people out of the market.”

He predicted that single-family home prices in South Florida will continue climbing because of the lack of supply and population growth.

Source:  SFBJ