SoFla construction starts plummet 54% in June

Residential construction dropped 61% to $265M


South Florida construction starts took a nosedive in June, continuing the trend since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Nonresidential construction declined 43 percent in June, year-over-year, to $239.6 million, while residential construction dropped 61 percent to $265.4 million during the same period, according to a new report from Dodge Data & Analytics.

Total building construction fell 54 percent in June to $504 million, according to the report.

Nonresidential buildings include office, retail, hotels, warehouses, and healthcare, whereas residential buildings include single-family homes and multifamily housing.

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For months, construction has slowed in both residential and commercial real estate due to the impacts of coronavirus.

In May, new construction starts in South Florida declined 25 percent to $558.8 million, down from $749.4 million in May 2019, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. And in April, total construction starts dropped 33 percent to $684.4 million, down from $1.03 billion in April 2019.

Construction was designated an essential business by the state of Florida and allowed to continue during the pandemic. Yet, contractors and subcontractors still reported challenges, such as rising material costs and difficulties with obtaining supplies produced in China. Some contractors said they had to find new suppliers since businesses such as marble slab companies were deemed non-essential and were required to shut their doors.

The drop in construction starts could also be due to a decline in new permits, experts say. Most cities in South Florida stopped processing new permit applications for one to two months, which could have an impact on contractors and developers this summer.