South Florida’s construction industry made a roaring recovery in 2021 with a 43% increase in starts, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.
That is a big bounce back from the 25% decline in construction starts in the tri-county region in 2020 as the start of the Covid-19 pandemic caused some projects to grind to a halt or fail to get off the ground.
Now, despite the supply chain and labor shortages that are making projects more expensive and often longer to complete, more construction is in the works.
There were $14.1 billion in construction starts in South Florida in 2021, up from $9.85 billion the year before. That is much faster than the national growth of 12% in construction starts.
The biggest growth in South Florida was in the residential sector, with a 62% increase to $8.8 billion. That’s a reflection of the surge in home and multifamily construction as more people move to the region.
Nonresidential construction – including office, hotels, retail, industrial and government – grew by 20% to $5.31 billion. There was a boom in industrial construction last year due to strong demand from e-commerce and distribution companies, although some office and retail projects also broke ground.
With the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill passed in 2021, it’s anticipated that government construction starts will increase this year.
The additional construction activity has been positive for the job market. South Florida added 7,100 construction jobs in November, compared to the same month a year ago, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.