The Real Deal Miami

South Florida’s residential construction booms in April, commercial plummets

Residential construction starts rose 58%, commercial fell 42%
By Keith Larsen | May 31, 2018 01:35PM

For residential construction and commercial construction, South Florida was the tale of two markets in April.

Residential construction in South Florida boomed, while commercial construction dropped off significantly in April compared to April 2017, according to a new report by Dodge Data & Analytics.

Commercial construction starts decreased 42 percent in April to $316.2 million, while residential construction starts increased 58 percent to $687.6 million according to the report.

Due to the growth in residential construction, total building activity increased 2 percent to about $1 billion in April on a year-over-year basis.

Commercial construction includes office, retail, hotels, warehouses, manufacturing, educational, healthcare, religious, government, recreational, and other buildings, while residential includes single-family and multifamily housing, according to the report.

On a yearly basis, commercial starts increased 14 percent to $1.92 billion, while residential increased to $2.7 billion.

Residential construction starts also outpaced commercial starts in South Florida in March. The amount of nonresidential construction contracts fell 3 percent to $458.7 million in March, while residential starts increased 10 percent to nearly $600 million.

Construction costs are expected to continue rising across the U.S. thanks in part to President Trump’s plan to tax overseas metals. Since the announcement in March, steel prices have risen as much as 10 percent nationwide. But the tariffs likely won’t impact South Florida developers as much due to the region’s strict building code that requires concrete structures to be held together with rebar.