Starts hit a more-than-10-year high in Orlando. President of the Greater Orlando Builders Association, and vice president at luxury builder Turning Leaf Construction John Riddle tells The Orlando Sentinel, “There’s no question the demand is there. Our members are working as hard as they can to develop land for more housing.” Riddle says early reports show permits may be up by 25 percent in several cities in 2019 thus far. Orlando has added nearly half a million people over the past decade, the unemployment rate has been under 4 percent for almost 24 months, and existing-home prices are rising.
Orlando’s Hanover Family Builders sold 520 new homes in Central Florida last year — and might have closed on more if not for a lack of lots and skilled labor. The company is building from St. Cloud to Sorrento, often with properties targeting the most sought market of homes under $350,000.
“We had to stop selling at a couple of communities for March because we are already full,” said Matt Orosz, co-president of the Orlando-based company. “The overall lot supply is so scarce and builders don’t want to build too many homes too quickly.”