By Metrostudy News, Metrostudy Report
(Miami, FL– July 22, 2013) New home construction continues to increase by leaps and bounds in southeast Florida. 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 1,951 single-family homes in the six-county area during the second quarter. “This is the highest level in 6 years, and it was 22.8% higher than the first quarter’s pace,” said Metrostudy’s chief economist Brad Hunter. The steady pace of increase is remarkable in that it has taken place as job growth has slowed. A new “urgency to buy” seems to have helped new home demand, with consumers driven by a desire to beat further price increases and higher mortgage rates.
The boom in construction is being driven by rising demand, as measured by Metrostudy. The quarterly “move-in” pace is up 27.2% versus the second quarter of last year. People moved in to 1,344 newly-built homes during the second quarter. The annual move-ins pace rose 23.7% year-over-year.
Highlights by County:
Miami-Dade: Miami-Dade County leads the pack again this quarter in year-over-year annual starts growth, at 102.4% (from 1,197 to 2,423). “Demand for new homes is exploding in the most-desired neighborhoods of Miami-Dade,” said Hunter.
Annual move-ins in Miami-Dade rose 61% year over- year, and the second quarter’s 422 move-ins were up 7.7% versus the first quarter’s pace.
As of the end of the second quarter, there were 343 finished vacant units in Miami-Dade County, which translates to 2.4 months-of-supply.
There were only 4,471 vacant developed lots (“VDL”) in Miami-Dade County at the end of the second quarter, representing a very low 22.1 months-of-supply (obtained by dividing VDL by annual starts and multiplying by twelve).
Broward: Broward County’s quarterly housing starts have been flat over the last 6 quarters, up only 3.2% in the second quarter versus the second quarter of 2012. The current annual starts figure is 1,037, and the current annual move-ins figure is 1,018.
As of the end of the second quarter, Broward had only 1.7 months-of-supply of finished vacant units, up from 1.4 a quarter ago and down from 1.8 a year ago.
Severe lot shortages in Broward are driving up home prices rapidly, according to Metrostudy. There were only 1,745 vacant developed lots in Broward as of the end of the second quarter, representing a tight 20.2 months-of-supply.
Palm Beach: Palm Beach County builders started 490 homes during the second quarter, up 11.1% versus four quarters earlier, but slightly lower versus the last three quarters. Annual starts are up 29.8% year over- year, to 2,011. Annual starts have not been this high since 3Q 2007.
Quarterly move-ins fell from 520 during the first quarter to 469 during the second quarter. Both of these quarters were stronger than any others since 3Q08. Annual move-ins reached 1,767. There are currently 204 finished vacant units in the entire county, constituting a low 1.4 month supply.
In Palm Beach County, there were only 3,296 VDL as of the end of the second quarter. This represents a very low 19.7-month supply at the current annual starts pace. New projects are being planned to develop lots and homes in the western reaches of the county.
Martin: Martin county is starting to come back. There were 99 starts in Martin County during the second quarter, the highest quarterly starts pace since 2006. The annual starts pace reached 321, up 59.7% over a year earlier.
Martin County’s annual move-ins pace rose to 245 at of the end of the second quarter, up 10.7% versus a year ago. Quarterly move-ins have been relatively high for two quarters now.
There are now 68 units of finished, vacant inventory, which translates to 3.3 months-of supply. This is down from 3.8 m-o-s last quarter, and 4.2 m-o-s a year ago. Martin County has 2,031 vacant developed lots.
St. Lucie: Starts in St. Lucie County were at their highest pace, both annual and quarterly, since 2008.
Quarterly starts rose to 84, from 37 in the first quarter and 23 in 2Q 2012. St. Lucie housing is still soft, but gathering momentum at a rapid pace. “Within a year or two, the St. Lucie market will start to light up again,” Hunter said.
There were 47 move-ins during the second quarter, down from 54 during the first quarter, but up from 34 a year ago.
There were 118 finished vacant single-family homes as of the end of the second quarter, down from 141 a year earlier. At the current annual move-ins pace, this makes 8.7 months of supply. If we consider only detached homes, there were still 5.7 months-of-supply.
St. Lucie County had 7,073 vacant developed lots as of the end of the second quarter.
Indian River: There were 107 single-family starts during the second quarter, down from 117 during the first quarter, and up from 63 a year ago.
Absorption remains fairly stable, with 282 annual move-ins as of the end of the second quarter, versus 259 annual move-ins a year ago.
The number of finished-vacant units rose to 105 at the end of the second quarter, from 68 at the end of the first quarter. There were 114 such units a year ago. The finished vacant months of- supply figure rose from 3.0 at the end of the first quarter, to 4.5 at the end of the second quarter. It was 5.3 a year ago.
Indian River County has 4,350 vacant developed lots.