September was a slow month for construction starts, thanks in part to Hurricane Irma.
Overall, new contracts in September totaled nearly $726 million, down 12 percent year-over-year from $822 million, according to a new report from Dodge Data & Analytics.
Residential and commercial each posted declines on a year-over-year basis. Last month, residential construction starts totaled $287 million, a 13 percent drop from $329 million. Commercial declined 11 percent to $438.5 million from $492.6 million a year ago.
Irma impacted deals in all sectors, but especially South Florida’s residential markets. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties all reported fewer home sales in September due to the disruption caused by the hurricane.
Year-to-date construction starts show the effect of the residential market slowdown in South Florida. Altogether, the amount of new construction contracts fell 6 percent to $8 billion from $8.5 billion. Commercial increased 29 percent to $4.3 billion from $3.3 billion for the first nine months of 2016. Residential starts were down 28 percent to $3.7 billion from $5.2 billion the previous year. – Katherine Kallergis