(Miami, FL– May 3, 2013) The new South Florida boom in home construction is gaining momentum. This is according to a recent report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market.
Builders started construction on 1,585 single family homes in the six-county area during the first three months of the year. This is the highest pace since mid-2007, and it was 61.2% higher than 1Q12’s pace. Annual single-family housing starts rose sharply year-over-year, with the 1Q 2013 level of 5,721 being 46% higher than the 1Q 2012 level.
Consumer demand is strong; all of the homes are getting moved into as soon as they are completed. Quarterly move-in pace is up 18.8% vs. this time last year. End-users absorbed 1,296 new homes during 1Q13, and 4,863 during the last four quarters. The number of finished vacant housing units barely budged, up from 939 to 942 during 1Q13, and the months-of-supply figure fell from 2.4 to 2.3. “The days of excess inventories are long gone. Inventory levels are back in an equilibrium range overall, and are actually on the low side in many submarkets,” said Brad Hunter, regional director of Metrostudy’s Chief Economist. This, he says, means that housing starts will increase sharply throughout the rest of the year.
Highlights by County:
Miami-Dade: Demand is up sharply throughout the Miami market, Metrostudy’s research shows. “Miami-Dade County leads the rest of the South Florida counties now, after a 111.1% increase in construction in the last twelve months,” said Hunter. Miami-Dade County builders started 1,984 single-family homes in the first quarter of 2013, up from 940 four quarters ago.
Those homes are all becoming occupied as soon as they are completed. Annual move-ins in Miami-Dade rose 62% year over-year, although the first quarter’s move-ins were down 30.2% vs. the fourth quarter’s strong 562 move-ins pace. As of the end of 1Q13, there were 306 finished vacant units in Miami-Dade County, which translates to 2.4 MOS. There were only 4,321 vacant developed lots remaining in Miami-Dade at the end of 1Q13, representing 26.1 MOS. There were only another 5,563 future lots identified (platted or otherwise known to be in the pipeline).
Broward: Broward County has not grown as quickly as Miami-Dade because of land scarcity. Its quarterly housing starts have been fairly steady over the last 5 quarters, uponly 5.6% in 1Q13 vs. 1Q12. The current annual starts figure is 1,029, and the current annual move-ins figure is 1,056. As of the end of 1Q13, Broward had only 1.4 MOS of finished vacant units, down from 1.7 a quarter ago and 2.5 a year ago. There were only 2,010 vacant developed lots in Broward as of the end of 1Q13, representing 23.4 MOS. “Activity in Broward will soon shift from South Broward to North Broward, where more large new projects are starting.” said Hunter.
Palm Beach: Palm Beach County’s quarterly starts are up 37% vs. four quarters earlier. “The pace of single-family home construction has not been this high since 2007,” said Hunter. There are currently only 225 finished vacant units, constituting 1.7 months of supply, at the current rate of move-ins. In Palm Beach County, there are only 3,551 vacant, developed lots, only 21.8 months worth of supply at the current pace of construction.
Martin: Metrostudy finds that Martin County’s annual construction pace is back to the late 2007 level, with 294 annual starts, up 77.1% over a year earlier. Martin County’s annual move-ins pace was 239 as of the end of 1Q13, up 39% vs. a year ago. There are now 76 units of finished, vacant inventory, which translates to 3.8 MOS. This is up from 3.7 MOS last quarter and 3.0 MOS two quarters ago. Martin County has 2,095 vacant developed lots.
St. Lucie: Annual housing starts in St. Lucie County rose 27.3% year-over-year, to 154, but annual move-ins fell 23.1% to 150. There were 126 finished vacant single-family homes as of the end of 1Q13, down from 156 a year earlier. At the current annual move-ins pace, this makes 10.1 MOS. If we consider only detached homes, there was still 6.5 MOS. St. Lucie County had 7,150 vacant developed lots as of the end 1Q13. “St. Lucie County is still struggling, but the long-term future for this area is very bright,” said Hunter.
Indian River: There were 302 single-family starts during the year that ended with the first quarter of 2013, up 45.9% from a year earlier. The 117 starts during 1Q13 were almost double those during the previous quarter. Absorption has been fairly stable, with 270 annual move-ins as of the end of 1Q13, vs. 272 annual move-ins a year ago. The finished vacant MOS figure fell to 3.3 in 1Q13, from 3.8 in 4Q12, and 5.5 a year ago.
For information contact:
brad hunter @ 561.573.8351
Metrostudy, a Hanley Wood company, is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide. Established in 1975 in Houston, Metrostudy provides research, data, analytics and consulting services that help builders, developers, lenders, suppliers, retailers, utilities and others make investment and business decisions every day. www.metrostudy.com.
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