Florida Quarterly Home Builder Report: Q1-2018

Depending on where you look in Florida, new residential construction has been on a significant high or at a lull in the first quarter of this year.  Across the Sunshine State, housing starts had a year-over-year increase of 6.1% in the first quarter resulting in more than 17.7k new construction permits in the HBW database.  Areas with the most notable growth include the southeastern (+~21%), northeastern (+18%) and northwestern (+21%) regions of the state.  Areas off to a slower start include Central Florida (-5%), West Florida (-3%) and Southwest Florida (-0.7%).

Here is a closer look at new home building activity in Florida throughout Q1-2018:


The northwestern region of Florida (including adjacent counties in Alabama) has experienced the greatest increase in housing starts in comparison to the five other regions reviewed.  With a 21.1% year-over-year increase in new residential construction permits, there were nearly 2,670 housing starts in Q1.  The counties with the highest concentration of permits in the northwest include Baldwin, AL (613 permits, + 10.5%) and Santa Rosa (400 permits, +24%).


In the first quarter of this year, the southeastern region ranked second highest for growth with a year-over-year increase of 20.9% and 2,131 new permits.  The counties with greatest total number of housing starts include Miami-Dade (652 permits, +23.3%) and St. Lucie (564 permits) which had a massive 48% increase in new residential construction activity in comparison to the same time last year.


The northeastern portion of Florida has also had a strong start to the year.  As previously mentioned there was more than an 18% year-over-year increase in housing starts which resulted in 3,040 permits for the three-month period.  The counties with the greatest total number of new permits in the first quarter include St. Johns (982 permits, +9%) and Duval (808 permits +17.3%).


The southwestern region of Florida has experienced a nominal dip (-0.7%) in housing starts in comparison to last year.  The area ranked third highest for total housing starts with 3,028 permits in the first quarter of this year.  The greatest concentration of new home construction could be found in Lee County (1,059 permits, +15.4%) and Sarasota County (743 permits, +1.2%).

West Florida

While West Florida had the greatest total number of housing starts in the first quarter (3,580 permits), the area is down in comparison to Q1-2017 by -2.8%.  Areas that held higher levels of new construction activity included the counties of Hillsborough (1,150 permits, +0.1%) and Polk (883 permits, -12%).

Central Florida

Despite a year-over-year decrease of approximately 5% in Central Florida new home construction, the area ranked second highest for total starts having 3,271 permits on file with HBW in the first quarter of this year.  The larger city-centered (Orlando) county of Orange held nearly half of all new residential construction with 1,416 permits, reflective of a 9% year-over-year increase.  Brevard County was a distant second for housing starts having 565 new residential construction permits (-16.9%) in the first quarter of this year.

To gain more information on the builders, homeowners and permits for the construction activity above, check out HBW for your copy of the latest construction data reports. To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest residential and commercial building activity in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, please contact HBW for details.

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