Between 2007 and 2012, the real estate and construction industries in the United States suffered greatly amidst the recession. In the two years since, however, things have noticeably started to pick up. South Florida, in particular, has seen a massive boom in construction, which has ultimately helped the economy in more ways than one.
The Great Recession, which began in 2007 and is often linked to the financial and subprime mortgage crises in America at the end of President George W. Bush’s presidency, affected most major industries negatively for some time. The real estate and construction industries, however, seemed to be affected the most, and unemployment rates nationwide increased to an alarming amount.
Starting in 2009, but really becoming widespread around 2012, however, things seemed to slowly pick back up in most of the country. South Florida in particular saw a fast turnaround when a construction boom hit the area. Recently, the area has seen a drastic increase in construction, and as seasoned real estate developer Donald Phillips explains, various factors have contributed to this.
“Primarily rental housing catching up to demand pressure and secondary haven housing feeding on the economic/political uncertainty of Europe, Central and South America,” Phillips said when asked what the main factor is that has contributed to the recent construction boom in South Florida. “The population in Florida has been booming, and so has the tourism rate. People want to spend the snowy Northern months in Florida, and I do not blame them.”
Donald Phillips, managing director at Phillips Development and Realty, LLC, has been in the real estate industry since the age of 19, so he’s surely seen both the high and the low points of this industry over the course of decades. Phillips’ assessment of higher tourism rates and the desire of people from the North to spend the winter months in a warmer climate makes sense when looking at trends in the industry over the last couple of years.
The recent construction boom has had a positive impact on the economy of South Florida in many ways. Recent analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in just over a year, since September of 2013, the overall number of construction employees has increased by 7.9 percent. Additionally, the construction sector of the jobs market in South Florida saw a 7.1 percent increase back in August in just one year. Brad Meltzer, southeast president of Plaza Construction, told Miami Today News earlier this year that contractors were boosting wages drastically in order to keep up with the demand of the booming industry, as there were more jobs opening up with less skilled workers applying.
As various factors continue to contribute to the boom in the construction industry in South Florida, more jobs are being created and the economy is continuing to turn around. Clearly there is still room for continued growth, but things are on the right track – and that’s a lot more than anyone could say seven years ago.
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