Trump tariffs could raise home prices in South Florida

Suppliers in Europe, Mexico and Canada facing a 25% tax on steel and a 10% tax on aluminum

Jun.June 14, 2018 10:30 AM

President Donald Trump (Credit: Wikipedia and iStock)

President Trump’s newly imposed trade tariffs could push South Florida home prices up even further.

European, Mexican and Canadian suppliers are now facing a 25 percent tax on steel and a 10 percent tax on aluminum imported into the United States. Residential developer Sergio Pino, founder of Century Homebuilders Group, expects the cost of materials to increase by 5 percent over the next few months, according to the Miami Herald. Pino said that could push home prices up by $20,000 to $30,000.

The tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, which went into effect in March, were not expected to have much impact on the local construction industry because in order to withstand hurricane-force winds, local developers said, structures in South Florida are primarily built with concrete and domestic rebar.

But the uncertainty surrounding the president’s tariffs is changing how contractors handle business. Brad Meltzer, president of Plaza Construction, told the Miami Herald that many of the subcontractors his company works with aren’t locking in pricing for more than 60 to 90 days, which could lead to a rise in costs.

Murray Rice, co-owner of Deerfield Beach-based Richard and Rice Construction, is seeing a 10.5 percent increase in lumber costs since Trump announced a 24 percent duty on Canadian lumber earlier this year. Rice also said the cost of rebar shot up by 58 percent.

South Florida is also dealing with the construction labor shortage that’s plaguing the rest of the country.  [Miami Herald] – Amanda Rabines

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