2005 housing starts
2005 was a remarkable year for the construction industry in Southwest Florida. New housing starts were up 46 percent over 2004 and fueled a significant valuation increase for vacant land.
17,833 new permits were issued in Lee County (excluding Ft. Myers) in 2005, up from 12,201 that were issued in 2004. The overall dollar value of construction permits in 2005 was $4.7B up from $3B in 2004.
This flurry of new construction activity has been a very positive factor in the overall health of the Lee County economy, which topped the charts in Florida for low unemployment. I expect a drop-off in the quantity of new construction starts in 2006 as the market needs to absorb existing and new product that is coming on-line.
Building permits hit high in 2005 [News-Press]