Fourth-quarter home starts in SW Florida surge 42%

Metrostudy calls home construction pace in Southwest Florida among the nation's strongest

Mar.March 05, 2016 01:00 PM

Builders last year started construction of 42 percent more Southwest Florida homes in the fourth quarter than they did in the same period in 2014, according to Washington, D.C.-based Metrostudy, a real estate research firm.

Metrostudy reported that fourth-quarter new-home starts in Southwest Florida rose to 1,282 last year from 893 in 2014.

The firm’s report on Collier and Lee counties covers construction of houses, town homes and duplexes and excludes condo construction.

Brad Hunter, chief economist of Metrostudy, told the Naples Daily News that the growth rate in Southwest Florida home construction is “among the strongest in the country.”

Metrostudy also reported that the annual pace of new home starts in Collier and Lee counties rose to 4,800 in the fourth quarter of last year from 4,083 in the prior comparable period.

But potential obstacles to ongoing growth loom. Scarce land and labor put upward pressure on home prices, Hunter told the Daily News, “and even though many builders are trying to appeal to entry-level buyers, affordability is a challenge.”  [Naples Daily News] — Mike Seemuth

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