The Real Deal Miami

South Florida construction spending slows at end of 2015

Residential construction, which makes up most of market, declined heavily
Construction cranes

Construction cranes

South Florida contractors received many fewer checks in the mail by the end of 2015, closing out a year that began with a veritable building boom.

Developers sank $10.335 billion into construction contracts by the end of December — a 3 percent increase from the total $10.036 billion spent in 2014, according to a new report from Dodge Data & Analytics.

The region was on track to outpace 2014 spending in a big way during the first half of 2015, but slowing residential sales in the fall and winter months hamstrung construction.

On a year-over-year basis, some months reported as much as 60 percent reductions in the amount of money flowing into residential building contracts.

Non-residential contracts — everything from hotels to government buildings — mostly held steady or rose during the final months of 2015. But the majority of South Florida’s development dollars flowed to single-family homes, apartments and condos, so spending in the market’s non-residential sector wasn’t enough to pull up the year’s total.

December was the final footnote: $614 million worth of residential contracts were signed that month, a 5 percent drop compared to 2014. Meanwhile, non-residential contracts hit nearly $739 million — swelling by 11 percent year-over-year. — Sean Stewart-Muniz