South Florida construction starts fall in March

Year-to-date, construction starts have fallen 40%
By Keith Larsen | April 25, 2019 02:30PM

Construction in Miami (Credit: iStock)

Construction starts continued to decline in South Florida in March, led by a big drop in new residential construction.

Year-to-date, total construction has declined 40 percent, according to a recently released report by Dodge Data & Analytics. It’s another indicator that South Florida’s real estate market is slowing down due to high land and construction costs that are making building more expensive.

In March, residential construction starts fell 15 percent to $529 million from the same month of 2018. Commercial construction fell 5 percent to $471.1 million, according to the report.

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.

This is the third month that South Florida construction starts have fallen sharply from the previous year. It could be a sign of a broader economic slowdown in South Florida amid a cooling nationwide economy.

In March, overall U.S. construction starts dropped 0.3 percent from February to a 1.139 million annualized rate, according to Bloomberg.

There have been a number of indicators that show that the post-recession housing boom is coming to and end. Home-price growth has slowed for 10 consecutive months in April and inventory has been rising.

This comes about despite mortgage rates falling to the lowest level in about a year with the 30-year fixed rate at just over 4 percent, which makes owning a home more affordable for buyers.