South Florida construction starts plummet in February

Commercial real estate starts fell 78% to $190M

Construction in South Florida
Construction in South Florida

Construction in South Florida

South Florida construction starts plummeted for the second straight month.

Total construction starts declined 63 percent on a year-over-year basis in February to $589 million, according to a new report by Dodge Data & Analytics.

Commercial real estate saw the biggest drop, falling 78 percent to $190.1 million, while residential starts declined 43 percent to $399 million.

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While monthly housing starts reports can be volatile, February marks the second consecutive month that construction starts fell sharply, which could be a sign of a broader slowdown in South Florida amid a cooling nationwide economy.

In January, total construction starts declined 45 percent to $640.8 million from the previous year.

Rising labor and supply costs have made it more expensive for developers to build new projects, especially new single-family homes.

Nationally, housing starts fell 8.7 percent in February from January, the Commerce Department reported. Along with rising supply costs, experts say that the housing market is resetting after home prices rose to unaffordable levels.

Dodge Data defines non-residential as office, retail, hotels, warehouses, manufacturing, educational, healthcare, religious, government, recreational and other buildings. Residential includes single-family and multifamily housing.