Sunny Isles Beach

The good news for builders is, demand is strong in the Miami, Florida, urban area. The bad news is, the supply of buildable land is shrinking. In response, the New York Times reports, builders and developers are looking north for places where they can make a deal work out (see: "South Florida’s Construction Boom Heads North," by Nick Madigan.

"The construction boom of recent years... in Miami Beach and its neighboring areas, has used up almost all the best lots. So developers are migrating north to Broward County locales like Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale that do not have as much cachet but which, because of their beachfront locations, are seen as having great upside potential. The land is cheaper, too, which makes for relatively good deals — at least for now."

The product along these thin slices of high-value real estate isn't single-family homes, however — it's mid-rise and high-rise towers holding a mix of pricey condominiums and commercial space. "On Broward County’s 24-mile coastal strip," the Times reports, "83 new residential towers, with 7,901 units, have been announced or are under construction — 37 of them in the last year, according to Peter Zalewski, a real estate consultant who tracks local trends on the website In Fort Lauderdale alone, he said, 44 such projects are in the works, 29 more than last year."

The building boom takes place against a backdrop of rising real estate prices, reports the Sun Sentinel (see: "Home price index increases 7.7 percent in South Florida," by Paul Owers). "An index measuring South Florida home prices showed continued growth in June, rising for a 16th consecutive month," the paper reports. "The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties increased 7.7 percent from a year ago."