Lenders issued 2 percent more residential construction loans in the Tampa Bay area in the last quarter of 2017 compared to the same period a year earlier, ATTOM Data Solutions says. Though the increase was less than in Jacksonville (up 53 percent) and Orlando (up 41 percent), Tampa Bay with 323 loans had far more than either of those areas. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach saw a 16 percent drop in residential construction loans, to a total of 585
Nationally, construction loan originations soared 33 percent in the fourth quarter to hit a two-year high, with loans up 345 percent in Houston. While the increase partly reflects reconstruction in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, "the widespread rise in construction loans in other parts of the country indicates that more homeowners are staying put and remodeling rather than trying to move up into another home that comes with a big down payment and probably a higher mortgage interest rate," said Daren Blomquist, a senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.