SOUTH FLORIDA HOUSING 4Q16: Starts & Closings Decline QoQ; Vacant Inventory Up 23% YoY, But Lot Deliveries Decline 66% YoY

  • 2Q16 Quarterly New Home Starts Up 0.6% YoY & Annual Starts Up 8% YoY.
  • Quarterly Closings Down 12% YoY & Annual Closings Down 1.9% YoY.
  • Broward County saw strong quarterly starts growth of 21%, but starts in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Treasure Coast Counties declined QoQ.

Metrostudy’s 4Q16 survey of the South Florida housing market showed new home starts numbered 1,822 for the quarter, down 11.4% from 3Q16 and up 0.6% from 4Q15. Annual housing starts totaled 7,893, up 8% from 4Q15. Quarterly closings totaled 1,806 units, a 8% decline from the prior quarter and down 12% from 4Q15. Annual closings totaled 7,093 homes in 4Q16, down 3.3% from 3Q16 and down 1.9% from 4Q15. Metrostudy’s South Florida market data cover all of the new housing activity in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade Counties, excluding scattered lot subdivisions such as Port St. Lucie. Included in these data are single-family detached homes, townhomes, and duplexes.

“In 4Q16, finished, vacant inventory increased 23% from last quarter to 1,489 units, and this figure is 9.8% higher than the fourth quarter of 2015,” said David Cobb, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s South Florida Market. “Vacant, developed lot (VDL) inventory is down 4.3% from the previous quarter to 17,686, a 27 months’ supply. This is down 11.4% from 4Q15. Lot deliveries decreased 60% this quarter to 1,031, and are down 66% year over year.”

Looking at activity by county in 4Q16, in Miami-Dade quarterly starts totaled 677, down 9.7% from the previous quarter but up 4% from 4Q15. The annual starts pace of 2,810 was up 0.9% over the previous quarter and up 18% YoY. Quarterly closings totaled 661, down 17% from 3Q16, and down 16% YoY. The annual closing pace of 2,532 was down 0.4% from 4Q15. Finished, vacant inventory increased to 2.9 months of supply, the highest level since 4Q13.

In Broward County, quarterly housing starts totaled 388, up 21% from the previous quarter, and up 10% from 4Q15. The annual starts pace of 1,386 increased 4.5% YoY. Quarterly closings of 287 were down 14% YoY. Finished, vacant inventory stood at 2.8 MOS.

In Palm Beach County, quarterly housing starts numbered 405, down 21% from the previous quarter and off 12% from 4Q15. The annual starts pace of 1,964 declined 12% from last year. Finished, vacant inventory remains stable at 1.9 months of supply.

In the Treasure Coast, which includes Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin counties, quarterly starts numbered 352, a 25% decrease from 3Q16, while quarterly closings were 400, up 11% from the previous quarter.

“December 2016 marked Florida’s 77th consecutive month of positive year-over-year job growth,” said Cobb. “Florida’s annual job growth rate as of December 2016 was 251,400, a 3.1% increase and there were 491,000 unemployed Floridians out of a total labor force of 9,947,000. Non-agricultural, non-seasonally adjusted jobs in South Florida grew by 63,800 over the past twelve months. The annual job growth rate for the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) of Miami (including Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach), Port St. Lucie-Martin, and Sebastian-Vero was 2.4, 1.7, and 2.8 percent respectively.”

Listed below are the Top 10 single-family communities in South Florida, ranked by annual starts through the fourth quarter of 2016:

Rank      Community               Location          Starts      Move-Ins     Builder

1             Bonterra                       Miami-Dade         649              356          Lennar, ccHomes

2             Artesa                          Miami-Dade         338              304          Lennar

3             Tradition                       St. Lucie             334              274          Multi bldr

4             Modern Doral               Miami-Dade         282                62          Terra

5             Vineyards                     Miami-Dade         274              193          Lennar

6             Tuscany                       Palm Beach        243              244          GL Homes

7             Seven Bridges             Palm Beach        171              166          GL Homes

8             Valencia Cove              Palm Beach        147              270          GL Homes

9             Watercrest                    Broward              137              106          CalAtlantic

10           Century Park West       Miami-Dade         135                  0          Century Hbldrs Grp


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