This Week in Miami Real Estate: Builder spend rises, cities visualize zoning and more

by Andrew Morrell


New construction activity in Miami grew in November despite an average decline in year-over-year spending by builders nationwide. According to the latest monthly report on residential and commercial starts from Dodge Data & Analytics, new construction spending in the Miami area grew 36 percent in November compared to the same month last year, while commercial spending increased 47 percent. That puts the area on track to surpass the total spent on total residential construction from last year by a significant amount. Between January and November 2018, according to Dodge Data, the South Florida region logged $6.5 billion in residential construction spending, 28 percent more than at the same point in 2017 and already more than all of last year ($5.1 billion).

Nationwide construction spending was down 7 percent from year-ago levels in November, while the year-to-date residential construction spend was just 6 percent higher than last year. But in both Miami and the U.S. in general, it was multifamily starts that fueled much of the growth. Dodge ranked Miami No. 4 out of the top five cities for multifamily construction activity by dollar amount, behind Washington, D.C., Boston and New York.

In other local real estate news:

  • The City of North Miami announced a partnership with Florida-based tech developer Gridics to test a new software program that could streamline how local governments and real estate developers understand zoning regulations. The company had previously announced partnerships with city officials in Miami proper, Fort Lauderdale and Delray Beach. Its software provides a three-dimensional map of buildings in place and allows users to visualize zoning ordinances as well as test changes. Ultimately Gridics says its product could bring greater transparency in discussions around zoning and real estate development.
  • After arriving in the Miami market just two months ago, Los Angeles-based brokerage The Agency Collective announced it would expand once again and open two more office locations in the area. One will be based in Aventura and the other will be located in Coral Gables, with the previously announced office in Boca Raton serving as the flagship. The Aventura and Coral Gables offices will be led by Chris Franciosa and Jared Ringel along with managing broker Howard Elfman. Meanwhile, the company’s development group will begin work on three projects it has been selected to represent: 353 Sunset in Fort Lauderdale, Aventura Village and Bay Harbor One in Bay Harbor.
  • Data from LendingTree suggests that millennials comprised around a quarter of the U.S. mortgage market as of late November. However, Miami saw some of the lowest rates of purchase requests through the lender between January and November this year. Just 32 percent of Miami purchase requests processed by LendingTree came from buyers under 35. Meanwhile, cities like Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh saw millennial request rates near or above 50 percent. Florida metros like Tampa and Orlando also saw low purchase request rates from millennials.

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