Housing Starts and the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Market

Posted by Eric Miller on Thursday, December 16th, 2010 at 10:35pm.

Ft Lauderdale Real Estate - A Real Estate Market Lacking Land

Each month stock market investors wait to hear a report on Housing Starts as a barometer of the overall real estate market nationwide. Housing starts are certainly a measure of the health of the home building industry, and employment in the industry, but are they a measure of the real estate markets health?

As a Fort Lauderdale Real Estate broker, finding land for you to build a home on would be one of the toughest assignments I could be sent on. Most likely we would be speaking about finding you a “knockdown”.  “Knockdown” is an affectionate term for a home, that has passed its useful life and often where the building itself has less value than the land underneath it. Looking at Homes for Sale in Fort Lauderdale, if you just spotted a Fort Lauderdale Waterfront home in a neighborhood of multi-million dollar homes for $750,000, chances are you have just found a “knockdown”.


How many homes were started last month in Harbor Beach, Rio Vista, Las Olas Isles, some of the finest neighborhoods in the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate market? The answer is very few. Does that mean that housing starts are a barometer of the real estate market in these luxury Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods?  Not at all, it simply it means that when neighborhoods are built out and land is not readily available, a slow housing market causes a shift, and there is very little new construction. The shift is that spec homes (built by builders prior to being sold) as a business venture become a rarity. Most housing starts in built out communities are now being done by end users. Most often end users tend to be more active as renovators than builders.

In a real estate market like the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Market, where for years, small infill projects were the only new construction, a lack of housing starts is not a bad thing. It simply is part of a real estate cycle. Lower prices equal less construction, which leads to more resale’s of exsiting homes, which leads to lower inventory, higher prices, and then…some new construction. I can’t give you the time table for this cycle but if you are thinking of Buying a home in Fort Lauderdale, you may wish to look at the part of the cycle that comes after lower inventory…higher prices, because that is certainly on the horizon for Fort Lauderdale Real Estate as the inventory of Homes for Sale in the Broward County area continues to drop. Like many markets before at Eric Miller and Associates we believe the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate market has become oversold and its a great time to be a buyer of Fort Lauderdale Real Estate.


Eric Miller is an award winning Florida Realtor, salesperson and broker. His website, FortLauderdaleGroup.com provides an up-to-date guide to Fort Lauderdale Condos for sale, and the most complete buyer, seller and investor information for the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Market.

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