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'Pockets of strength' for S. Fla. home builders

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New home sales rose 7.3 percent in April, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, but home-building nationally remains subdued as the housing market searches for a bottom.

While the South Florida market certainly isn’t blazing hot, it is starting to improve. Broward County had 168 single-family home starts during the first quarter, up 21 percent from the fourth quarter, according to the Metrostudy research firm.

Palm Beach County had 288 starts in the first quarter, up 6 percent from the fourth quarter.

“There are pockets of strength,” said Brad Hunter, head of Metrostudy in Palm Beach Gardens.

Cooper City, west of Boynton Beach/Delray Beach and Palm Beach Gardens/Jupiter are where sales are particularly strong, Hunter said.

Builders in those areas include C.C. Devco, Minto Communities, GL Homes and Divosta Building Corp., owned by Pulte Homes.

C.C Devco and Minto are building at the 1,600-home Monterra development in Cooper City, while Sunrise-based GL is dominating west of Boynton and Delray with such developments as Valencia Reserve and Canyon Trails.