Construction starts in South Florida fell 33 percent in July to $890 million, according to a new Dodge Data & Analytics report.
Commercial and residential building were both down last month. New commercial starts dropped 20 percent to $472 million and residential starts declined 44 percent to $418 million, compared to July 2016.
Year-to-date, spending fell only 4 percent to $6.6 billion from $6.8 billion last year, according to the report. While commercial building has increased 37 percent to $3.5 billion so far this year, residential fell to $3 billion, down 29 percent from $4.3 billion.
Housing starts across the United States fell last month, a slowdown that was driven by a drop in apartment construction, according to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department.
Residential starts declined almost 5 percent to an annualized rate of 1.16 million. Starts on multifamily homes dropped just over 15 percent, and single-family starts fell by 0.5 percent.
As commercial construction ramps up, thanks in part to the residential slowdown in South Florida, the region’s biggest general contractors, which include MCM, Coastal Construction Group and Moss & Associates, are shifting their focus away from condo construction. Instead, they’re building rental apartments, offices, hotels and warehouses, schools, roads, bridges, and seaport and airport facilities.
The industry is also dealing with a shrinking and aging workforce.