A cement shortage has stabilized in Florida, builders say, but building material costs remain high. New and expanded cement plants are helping to fill a void in supplies that crippled the construction industry earlier this year, industry officials said. In the meantime, rising energy costs, four hurricanes and stronger demand from foreign markets are keeping construction costs from reverting to lower levels.
A weak US dollar also is hurting Florida builders - imported cement and steel is becoming costlier because of it. With homebuilding booming in South Florida since the early 1990s, construction has become an important part of the region’s economy. Miami developer Inigo Ardid, a principal at Key International, said prices might stabilise next year.