FYI Miami: February 2, 2017
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
BARE CONSTRUCTION GAIN: With a 39% dive in the value of construction starts in December from December 2015, starts for all of 2016 barely squeezed out a gain in 2016 for South Florida, rising just 3% overall for the year, Dodge Date and Analytics reported last week. As the year ended, large gains turned to losses month by month, with nonresidential construction for the year actually down 4% and residential construction values up 7%. In December both categories fell, with nonresidential construction down 64% and residential construction down 7% from December 2015. Total construction value for 2016 was just above $10.9 billion for the region, with more than 65% of that residential, a figure that includes both single family and multifamily residences.
HOTEL REVENUES SLIP: As hotel rooms in Miami-Dade increased by 3,351 last year, room nights actually sold and the prices of those sales couldn’t keep pace, according to year-end figures from STR, a firm that compiles statistics on hotels across the nation. The room increase was 4.2% to end the year at 54,469 rooms, but actual sales of rooms rose only 1.4%. Revenue per available room fell further, 5.5% to $143.95 from $152.37 in 2015; the average daily rate fell 2.9% to $189.77, and average daily occupancy fell 2.7% to 75.9%, according to the figures distributed over the weekend by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.
PRICE RISES SPEED UP: Consumer prices rose faster in South Florida than in the nation as a whole in 2016, paced by a far larger increase here than nationally in healthcare costs, according to figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The overall price increase in South Florida for the year was 2.9% while the national rise was 2.1%, according to bureau reports, but the cost of medical care here rose 9.2% in the 12 months while nationally health services costs increased 3.9% and healthcare commodities increased 4.7%. Housing costs also increased far faster here, rising 4.5% here for shelter versus 3.1% for the nation as a whole. The pace of price gains here accelerated in the last two months of the year, rising 0.8% in the period.
FUTURE OF PARKS: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says he plans a March report to county commissioners recommending the future of the county’s parks system. The report is to prioritize unmet park needs and the costs to complete the Park and Open Space System Master Plan that the county commission approved in 2008 and was thereafter approved by the county’s 34 municipalities and the school board.