Housing and construction industry continues improvement in Florida

Special to The Log

Florida’s housing and construction industry continues to see positive improvements over the month highlighted by increases in housing starts, median prices and job creation, while the supply of homes on the market declines.

“The housing and construction industry is vital to helping Florida’s economy continue to rebound while providing employment to the thousands of workers who are seeking a job,” said Governor Rick Scott. “Seeing these positive indicators across the state shows that people are feeling more confident in buying or building a home.”

Florida housing starts were up by 18.5 percent in August 2012 (the most recent month available) compared to August 2011 and median home prices were up 5.8 percent over the year. Average home sales prices are up by 6.8 percent in August 2012 compared to the previous August, according to the Florida Realtors, while a month’s supply of homes on the market is down by 40 percent over the year, indicating a dramatic reduction in Florida’s housing backlog.

The construction industry in September 2012 experienced an increase of 4,200 jobs compared to the previous month. Additionally, more people are moving into Florida. Net in-migration is up (more people moving into Florida than moving away) to an estimated 134,500 in 2012 — almost doubling 2011 in-migration of 68,000.

This continues a trend of positive indicators in the state’s improving economy.

Florida has created 156,800 private sector jobs since December 2010, and has experienced positive annual job growth now for 26 consecutive months.

The state’s job growth month-to-month has been positive for 12 of the last 15 months. Florida job postings increased sharply in September 2012 compared to the previous September by 35,277 (an increase of 15.1 percent), for a total of 268,575 openings (seasonally adjusted).

The state’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards reported a record of more than 52,983 Floridians placed in jobs during the month. Florida’s unemployment rate declined to 8.7 percent for the month of September with 3,500 new private sector jobs created.

The September 2012 rate was 1.7 percentage points lower than the year-ago rate of 10.4 percent.

To view the September 2012 monthly employment data visit: