Some of South Florida's hottest housing markets are feeling the chill of scarce land — and that's holding housing starts back, according to a report in the Sun Sentinel (see: "New housing starts fall in Broward and Palm as builders struggle to find land," by Paul Owers).
"Home construction in South Florida started 2015 with a thud as a shrinking land supply continues to dog developers," the paper reported. "Palm Beach County had 483 housing starts from January through March, down 15 percent from a year earlier, according to the Metrostudy research firm. Broward County had 282 starts, off 8 percent from the first quarter of 2014."
"Demand for new homes remains strong, but builders are struggling to find large tracts to develop, particularly in Broward," the paper reported. "The shortage drives up land prices for builders, who also are facing rising labor costs… So builders are competing for smaller parcels on which they can build high-density townhomes. Builders also are looking to redevelop old golf courses, aging rental buildings and shopping centers."