Through the second quarter of this year, Florida has experienced a 13% year-over-year increase in housing starts.
We are just halfway through the year, and Florida is already on target for having the best year for total housing starts in more than 5 years. From January to June, there have been 36,280 housing starts recorded by HBW throughout the state, a 13% increase in comparison to 2016. From the northern-most regions of the state to the higher value areas of South and Central Florida, new residential construction activity has spiked across the board. With increases ranging as high as 30% (West FL) to smaller spikes of 6% (Southwest FL), permit data has been growing in the HBW database.
The western region of Florida has experienced the greatest increase in comparison to the same time last year; through Q2 there were more than 8,000 housing starts in the west, reflecting a 30% year-over-year increase. More than half of all new residential construction activity in the west took place in the counties of Hillsborough (2,611 permits) and Polk (2,022 permits), with both areas reflecting an annual increase of approximately 24%.
Another area teeming with new construction is Central Florida. Through Q2, there were nearly 7,400 housing starts in Central Florida which positions it just about 8% ahead of last year. The Orlando city-central county of Orange had the highest concentration of housing starts for any county in Florida with approximately 3,050 new permits (+7%) on file through Q2. The coastal county of Brevard has experienced the greatest growth since last year as it had a 24% increase in residential construction, resulting in 1,015 new permits for the six-month period.
Moving to the south, the southern region of the state has seen significant growth in new residential permits in comparison to the same time last year. With just under 4,000 housing starts, the southeast experienced a 22% year-over-year increase in housing starts, and Miami-Dade County (1,235 permits) held the highest concentration of new permits. In the southwestern region, there has been a 6% year-over-year increase in housing starts through Q2, resulting in more than 6,600 new permits. New construction is spread somewhat evenly across the counties of Lee (1,984 permits), Sarasota (1,512 permits) and Collier (1,410). All southwest counties reviewed, with the exception of Manatee and Charlotte, are ahead of last year’s figures for new residential construction.
Finally, we reviewed the northwestern region inclusive of a couple of neighboring counties (Baldwin and Mobile) in Alabama. New residential construction has been steady and increasing. Through Q2, there were nearly 4,750 housing starts in the northwest, reflective of a 7% increase in new construction activity in comparison to 2016. Baldwin County had the greatest total number of starts on file for Alabama (1,103 permits), and Santa Rosa County’s 11% increase and 737 starts resulted in it ranking #1 for northwestern counties in Florida.
When looking at higher-value (>$500k) residential construction starts, Central Florida has the highest total at 553 permits, and the southeast is not far behind with approximately 500 higher value permits on file for Q2. While the southeast region is tracking just below last year’s figures, the central portion of the state is on a pace to set itself slightly ahead of last year for total starts above $500k.
Information utilized for the graphs and above listed figures for Florida residential construction was directly derived from HBW 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.