South Florida residential construction starts surge again in April

April residential construction starts up 36%, commercial down 11%

Total construction starts rose 14 percent in April. (Getty)
Total construction starts rose 14 percent in April. (Getty)

South Florida residential construction starts surged in April, but commercial starts declined, according to a newly released report.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties’ residential starts increased 36 percent in April, year-over-year, reaching $505 million, according to Dodge Data & Analytics, a Hamilton, New Jersey-based construction data analytics firm.

Commercial construction starts fell 11 percent to $295 million.

Overall, total construction starts rose 14 percent in April, year-over-year, to $800 million, the report shows.

Nonresidential construction includes office, retail, hotels, warehouses, manufacturing,
educational, healthcare, religious, government, recreational and other buildings. Residential construction includes single-family homes and multifamily housing, according to Dodge.

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Year-to-date, total construction starts remained flat at $3.5 billion, compared to the same period of last year. Residential starts increased 2 percent to $2.2 billion, and commercial starts fell 3 percent to $1.3 billion.

For March, Dodge reported the same trend as April, as residential construction starts swelled, but commercial ones dropped. Residential starts increased 40 percent, year-over-year, in March, to $461 million. Commercial starts decreased by 2 percent to $306 million.

The continuing rise in residential construction starts reflects South Florida’s booming housing market. The luxury market is especially hot in light of high demand from out-of-state buyers.

In the first quarter, residential sales in the region totaled $15.8 billion. The area recently recorded the second most expensive sale of the year in May, with punch time clock heir Edward G. Watkins selling an oceanfront Palm Beach estate for $95 million.

The record for the year is held by private equity titan Scott Shleifer’s purchase of another oceanfront Palm Beach mansion for more than $120 million.

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