The Real Deal Miami

S. Florida economy expanding on strength of real estate

The tri-county's traditional engine of growth is revving up
September 18, 2013 10:00AM

Tony Villamil

Tony Villamil

South Florida’s economy is growing at 3.5 percent, thanks to a surge in real estate activity.

New numbers from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis show real estate as the top engine of growth in South Florida, accounting for nearly out of three dollars added to the tri-county area’s $274 billion economy, the Miami Herald reported. The economy expanded by 3.5 percent last year, the biggest gain since 2006 and substantially more than the national metropolitan average of 2.5 percent.

“Real estate is really the foundation for this area. It’s crucial for the recovery,” Tony Villamil, a private economist and dean of the business school at St. Thomas University, told the Herald.

Rising property values and a flurry of new construction have restored profitability to markets whose collapse sent South Florida’s economy into a tailspin. [Miami Herald]Emily Schmall