Lot shortage constrains South Florida homebuilding

MetroStudy data show plodding recovery in single-family construction

Dec.December 12, 2015 03:00 PM

Area builders started 5,862 homes in the last year.

A lack of land is constraining single-family home construction in South Florida, particularly Broward County.

When the housing boom peaked in 2004 and 2005, South Florida contractors started building about 2,000 homes per quarter in the tri-county area. At the bottom of the recession in 2009, home starts totaled just 943 in Palm Beach County and 397 in Broward County.

But in the last four quarters combined, home construction starts totaled 1,280 in Broward County, 2,429 in Miami-Dade County and 2,153 in Palm Beach County, according to MetroStudy.

The MetroStudy figures include construction of single-family homes and townhomes and exclude condos.

The shortage of lots for home building is especially acute in Broward County because the western suburbanization of the county is limited by the Everglades.

Lennar Corporation, Standard Pacific Homes, Toll Brothers and WCI are constructing hundreds of single-family homes and townhomes in the north Broward community of Parkland, and K. Hovnanian Homs has started sales at Four Seasons at Parkland.

But after Parkland is built out, residential builders in Broward will have little vacant land and will need to redevelop older golf courses and commercial buildings to put up new homes.

Builders in Broward focused on Parkland after putting up 1,600 homes and apartments at the sprawling Monterra development in Cooper City.

Truly  Burton, executive vice president of the Builders Association of South Florida, told the Sun-Sentinel, “You can’t suburban housing in [Broward] anymore. The suburbs are finished.” [Sun-Sentinel]  Mike Seemuth

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