Construction spending in South Florida up in July: report

Construction cranes
Construction cranes

Despite a big drop in construction starts in South Florida’s residential sector, overall building contracts were up in July compared to the same month last year. 

More than $1.43 billion worth of contracts were signed in July compared to the $1.36 billion for July 2015, according to a new report from Dodge Data & Analytics. That’s a 5 percent increase in construction starts in South Florida.

On the residential side, which includes homes, condos and multifamily projects, the region saw an 18 percent dip in new contracts last month, from more than $1 million in July 2015 down to roughly $850,000. (Last month, it was down 14 percent.) Commercial building, on the other hand, saw an 83 percent increase in July compared to last year: from $315,000 in July 2015 to $576,000 in July 2016.

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Year-to-date, overall spending is also up, albeit moderately. Construction contracts totaled $6.3 billion for January to July of last year, and increased by 4 percent to $6.6 billion so far this year.

While nonresidential building outpaced residential, the difference is less dramatic on a cumulative, year-over-year basis. Residential construction starts were up 1 percent, while commercial construction was up 9 percent for January to July, year over year.

At the current pace, South Florida could once again land itself in the No. 2 spot for construction spending nationwide, likely beat out by New York. – Katherine Kallergis