Pace of housing starts uneven across South Florida

Metrostudy: 2016 housing starts slumped in Palm Beach County, surged in Miami-Dade

Feb.February 11, 2017 02:15 PM

Housing starts in 2016 fell in Palm Beach County while rising in Broward and Miami-Dade

Builders broke ground for fewer single family homes and townhouses last year in Palm Beach County while housing starts rose in Broward County and Miami-Dade County.

Research firm Metrostudy reported 1,964 housing starts in Palm Beach County in 2016, down 12 percent from 2015, and 8 percent below the 2014 level.

Limited land availability constrains the development of single-family homes and townhouses. in the northern tier of tri-county South Florida.

David Cobb, regional president of Metrostudy, cited short-term problems that some builders encountered last year in acquiring and preparing lots for single-family homes and townhouses.

Cobb also told the Sun-Sentinel he expected an increase in housing starts in Palm Beach County: “There’s not been a falloff in the interest for new houses.”

Truly Burton, executive vice president of the Builders Association of South Florida, told the Sun-Sentinel that such metropolitan areas as Orlando and Atlanta have “more room to spread out. We don’t have that.”

In Broward County, builders had 1,386 housing starts last year, 5 percent more than in 2015 and 17 percent above the level of 2014.

Housing starts increased to 2,810 in Miami-Dade County last year, up 18 percent from 2015 and almost even with 2014. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth

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